Pic of the day: Contained, for now.
Sims2: Cow plant, death & life
When we last left our hero, the reluctant novelist Marton Writingale, he was advancing his career in natural science, a career path available only in the expansion pack University. In fact, I believe this particular career is only available to people with a university degree, although it need not be in biology. Marton had studied literature, but it seems only his skills limited the position he could get in this career. His goal wasn't the noble advancement of science, though. It was to get his hands on a carnivorous cow plant, Laganaphyllis Simnovorii.
Once he got this career reward, he placed it near his house but built a fence around it so neither he nor his guests would accidentally wander into it. If some evil neighbor stop by, though, they would be allowed in. Especially Komei Tellerman, of course. This scourge of Simanity not only kicks down garbage cans, he will hang around on community lots, pulling pranks or outright harassing other Sims, except the occasional woman. In every neighborhood I have played, he has been the same. It is time to stop his rampage for good!
Ironically though, the first victim was a cute teenage girl, Ivy Copur. (There is also a grown-up Ivy Copur, but she is black and this one is white with long black hair.) Despite her innocent-looking face, she qualified herself. I was willing to overlook the fact that she hit Marton with a water balloon and tried to pull a second prank on him that he managed to cancel in time. I even gave her food and entertainment. But then she started to harass my other guest, teen Orlando (there is also a child Orlando, confusingly enough). That's it. I can stomach her being evil to my player character. Some people just don't get along well. But when she is harassing my guests, there is no way around it. With a somewhat heavy heart (because she was so young and cute after all) I put her in the enclosure. After a while, the cow plant became hungry and ate her when she tried to grab the cake lure. I sold her tombstone for §150 and Marton milked the plant. If you drink the milk while your aspiration level is gold or platinum, it makes you 5 years younger. Since he was by now three quarters through his adult life, this was a welcome development. Still, it was a sad way to begin our career in eugenics.
The next victim was Amin Sims. He seemed OK too, but was relentless in harassing my guest, following him around and poking and shoving him. I had enough of these guys in primary school. To the cow he goes! And finally, a couple days later, Komei comes around. Marton drops everything and runs out to greet him. As expected, Komei punches him in the nose. Another §150 and another 5 days younger. And best of all, no more garbage-can-kicking Komei. Finally he got what was coming to him.
Boys and girls, this career reward is the bomb for all of us who were bullied in school.
Perhaps it was the early demise of pretty Ivy, but I started to feel that Marton's karma balance was tilting downward. So to atone for the deaths, I gave him the idea to adopt a toddler. This was certainly not something he would have thought of by himself. He occasionally get the "Very First Woohoo" want in connection with parties (actually most of the time) but when he has no romantic inclination at all, it is hard to move straight to the woohoo. (In this respect he is uncannily similar to his maker, by pure coincidence I'm sure.) Marton has never had the Flirt want or the First Kiss want, I'm not even sure he has had the Dance With..., only the generic Dance With Someone and then at parties.
So adoption it is. Admittedly he might have had a chance with Melissa Fancey, who seems to have taken a fancy to him, as it were. She was even walking back and forth in front of his house one evening, admittedly without ringing the bell. Perhaps she was just shy. Then again, so is he. So in the end he called the Adoption service, and the next day at 10 AM a cute Latino toddler was brought to the house. Marton quit his job and went back to the more flexible work of writing, since toddlers don't understand day rhythm much. You can hire a nanny, but they are all loons. They show up in the middle of the night but may decide to not show up when you actually go to work. And besides, he had §24000 and the ability to write bestsellers.
The two children adopted by May and Jenna had personalities as similar to their parents as most biological children, so I expected the same here. But actually little Toby is very different. He is 80% outgoing, against 20% for his new father. And most alarming of all, he is only 30% nice. This combination might make him fodder for the cow plant unless Marton manages to raise him well. It is time to try out J.M. Pescado's Encoragifactor macro!
Like all these macros, it is not a cheat as much as a wrist saver. There is already a command "encourage" which lets parents try to influence their child to develop a personality trait they have themselves. Being shy and nice, Marton can encourage shyness and niceness, but he can't encourage neatness because he has only 40% himself. The encouragifactor simply engages the parent in the act of encouraging a chosen trait, and makes sure they don't wander off and do something else instead, just keep on encouraging. In real life, this would probably not have the desired effect, I admit. Then again, in real life you would not be fed to a cow plant if you upset enough innocent people.
But first we need to get our little toddler to grow up enough to understand concepts like "nice" and "shy". At first, they can only crawl, play with the toilet and beg for food and attention. Marton taught the little cuddler to walk, talk and use the potty. He fed him only smart milk (an aspiration reward) except when his own aspiration was too low to risk it. Five bottles of smart milk over the course of a toddlerhood seems to have been enough. Not only does the kid come out with 90% Charisma skill, but he also learns all skills at double speed from then on and quite possibly for the rest of his life, or perhaps just childhood. I am pretty sure the first kid with the smartmilk overload kept his uncanny IQ through his teen years at least, at which point he had maxes most skills anyway. I expect no less from Toby.
I recently read someone saying that you can often see from the behavior of even a toddler Sim what aspiration is most fitting for him when he grows up. (You choose aspiration when they become teens.) I am not sure about toddlers, but the morning after Toby grew up to a schoolkid, he woke up wanting a hot tub. Not bath tub, the small spa that only adults can use (and which you can woohoo in, though he might not know that yet). He is most likely destined to be a popularity Sim like his adoptive father, although I suppose romance might be an option. Nah, popularity. Definitely. Because when I humored him and bought the tub (which he can't use for years yet) his next wish was a bar. Yeah, the one with personality-altering beverages. Uhm. Precocious little fellow.
Because of the tub, it has become harder to weed out Sims. The uninhibited playful ones who would normally have started with a prank or two, now jump in the hot tub instead. This happened with Jan Tellerman. The name is kinda confusing since Jan is a man's name here, but I suppose it is short for one of those longer names starting with Jan. Anyway, I'm not sure if she is Komei's sister or widow, but from her looks more likely the latter. She did not seem to bear any grudge for his early demise, though. Not that anyone should. The became quite good friends ... until she started taunting Melissa. Had I know, the cow might have gotten a meal. On the bright side, Melissa doesn't hate her ... yet, at least.
Oh yes. Melissa. Well, they eventually went and fell in love. Now she has moved in and wants to Woohoo. I guess that's the end of the novels, then. Who wants to write novels when you can Woohoo in Bed?
And so our story ends ... for now, at least.
Visit the ChaosNode.net for the older diaries I've put out to pasture.