What Almost Was

We came so close to doom. So close, and if we hadn’t turned it around through compromise, work, and loss, I wouldn’t be sitting here scolding my grandchildren about playing in the garden. They look to me with bright, curious eyes, barely abashed. I can’t make myself scold them too strongly — they were raised with confidence, not fear. I’d rather rip out my own heart than break that sunny surety.

My grandparents lived in a time of such great fear. Even I don’t know how to feel that afraid, that certain that the future would be so much worse than the present. They feared disease, the rising tides, poverty, and each other. They closed their ears and eyes until they could only hear their own panicked heartbeats. I feel so sorry for them. Then, after sorrow, immense gratitude.

Why? Because it changed. They changed. I don’t know what turned it around. I don’t know what made them open their senses to each other, to see how interconnected we all are. The bravery, the sheer vulnerability — there’s a reason we treat Founders’ Day with such awe. It’s deserved. Every rite and song, deserved and far too little.

Now we don’t fear, we plan. We learn and implement. My son fixes solar panels on our neighbor’s farm, and for that, we receive vegetables and milk. My daughter trades her woven rugs for seeds. Her wife maintains our water stores and hatchery. We sell medicinal flowers at the Gathering Place, and my grandchildren don’t know where work ends and play begins.

Today’s a sunny day. I rock in my chair after waving the children back to their games. Later, I’ll can tomato sauce and spicy peppers, and preserve some lemons so we can taste that salty brightness all the year through. For now I think I’ll take a little nap, though. We can do that now. I know I am cared for as I sleep.

That Pesky Little Name Thing

In the world of the Deadly Sins, consequence is king.

Randy Chase Goth (Lust) and his daughter Jazmin (Envy) burned every bridge with their family of origin because of betrayals and lies. Lust’s mother Grebetta (Pride) played a long, tough game, but in the end, the truth came out. She died alone and de-vampirized, a weakling, pride-free.

Jazmin played her own long game — stealing from acquaintances and businesses and smiling prettily while she lined her pockets in Selvadorada. She robbed tombs and museums, plucked relics from their sacred ground, and kept it all for prestige, power and the sheer joy of owning something no one else could have.

Unfortunately, she became a little TOO brazen shipping artifacts home from Selvadorada. Arrest followed, then a short trial followed by a brief jail sentence. ‘Jazmin Goth’ was placed on every no-fly list, and her likeness is posted over the bar in Selvadorada’s main square. Do not trust this woman. Solid advice.

But Jazmin isn’t the embodiment of Giving Up. Envy will always drive her, which means showing off her few remaining ill-gotten gains in the museum she’s always dreamed of opening. It’s ready. It’s good to go. But ‘Jazmin Goth’ would never be able to open the museum to visitors, not with the sort of scrutiny that would be aimed her way.

Someone else might have different luck…

Her great-grandmother Kori (Sloth) made her fortune as the lazy, but loving mistress of powerful men. Jazmin decided to up the stakes. She tracked down the last single scion of the powerful Landgraab family — Marshall Landgraab.

Marshall wasn’t ready for Hurricane Jazmin to enter his life. Despite their ten-year age difference (her 40 to his 30), she brought a joyous, youthful energy to his routine, dull days. She quickly found her way into his bed, his every thought, and then his house, courtesy of a quickie engagement and elopement.

Jazmin Goth can’t open a museum or travel to Selvadorada. But perhaps Jazz Landgraab can.

Marshall demanded an heir — he got one. She brought her teenage twin hellions into his life, for better or for worse. And now, she’s getting ready to dye her hair, pop in some brown contacts, and head to Selvadorada again — tombs are still waiting for her special Envious touch.

Murky Hollow

Text reads:  "Welcome to Murky Hollow, Population 24...23...22...  A Sims 4 Storytelling Project.  Twitch.tv/sim_michele

One of the most popular things I do on Twitch is collaborative storytelling with the chat community. We start with an idea, and I’m the one who translates it into a build, but we work together to come up with the character traits, the relationships and potential tension points, and the ways the story might go. Community members make the actual characters. It’s SO much fun to brainstorm and then bring ideas to (pixelated) life.

Our latest collaborative project is “Murky Hollow,” the total replacement of Forgotten Hollow’s five lots and vampire residents with a colony of desperate survivors fleeing the “Children of the Cowplants” (again, decided together on stream). In Murky Hollow, these survivors from all walks of life have banded together to make a new home and take! a! stand!

Mayor Isamu — no one knows the rest of his given name — is a horticulturist from Mt. Komorebi. Why he was in the Forgotten Hollow area, why he doesn’t try to go home…all of it is a mystery. But in the chaos surrounding the initial cowplant attacks, he rose to leadership based on his strategic thinking, empathy, communication abilities, and surprisingly kick-ass combat skills. Pretty good for a gardener!

As for what the colony looks like, who lives there, and how it operates — we’ll figure that out together. Stay tuned!

A new Sloth, a new playthrough

I recently switched computers, and in the switch-over, lost a lot of my old saves — including the Deadly Sins Challenge playthrough I’d played to the second generation. Alas Pride! In a poll, I asked my community if they’d like us to start over, recreate the first iteration, or scrap it altogether, and they overwhelmingly voted for a do-over with a new Sloth. Sloth 2.0.

Kori Cutler is the wooooOOOOoooorst.

She can only afford her apartment because of an insurance scam — she pretended to get hurt on an escalator and won a handsome settlement. BUT she finally ran out of cash, and instead of getting more than part-time retail work, she instead scored a far more ambitious roommate.

Damion Callaway was created by my friend and fellow streamer Kast. He’s a wannabe entertainer with an eye toward comedy and filmmaking. Right now, he’s a fledgling comedian and musician just trying to make it in a rough industry. He gets drunk when he’s happy. When he’s drunk, he hooks up with Kori. When he’s sober, he regrets it SO MUCH.

Kori also loves to steal things, gaslight her neighbor Penny Pizzazz, and give horrible -horrible- customer service at her night job. Hail to the sloth.

Deadly Sins redux (Oct. 2020)

(Oct. 19, 2020: Hey there! In honor of starting this challenge on my own stream, I thought I’d incorporate some of the suggestions and updates in the Sims since I first wrote this in January!)

(Note: Neighborhood Action Plans from EcoLifestyle are NOT addressed, since I hate them and instantly disable them. However, if you’re using them in YOUR game, just pump up the generations’ existing issues! Remember, it’s a challenge about SINNING — you can literally do nothing wrong. Cheat, skip, and misbehave with aplomb.)

The Seven Deadly Sins Legacy Challenge leads your Sims through the worst traits, careers, and aspirations Sim-kind has to offer. In seven generations, experience sloth, pride, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and finally greed.

There aren’t a lot of RULES (it’s a sin challenge, after all), just guidelines and suggestions to help you really lean in to that sinful Sim life. This is a super tongue-in-cheek challenge, given that your Sims will be horrible children, parents, partners, employees and friends. Just horrible. If a generation or a task disturbs you (or bores you!), skip it.

And, because I’m even more of a builder than a player, each generation has a build challenge. Not a builder? Give it a try, or just break the rules and skip that part of the challenge. Who’s going to stop you? I’m not your MOM!

Generation 1: Sloth
No real career. No degree. No spouse. Your Sim has to make and raise an heir, but beyond that, they just slide through life. Enjoy napping, drinking juice on the beach, sleeping, neglecting your heir, and going with the flow.

Aspiration:  Any.  They just won’t care.  If you have Island Living, “Beach Life” is a great option.
Starting Traits have to include: Lazy, Slob
Suggested Career: Odd Jobs and Part-Time Jobs only.
Build Component: Build humble, build cheap! Try starting with 5k instead of 20k, and build whatever you can build! In your future Sloth dwellings, try to keep to that slothful, don’t-care, meh style of housing!
Additional Slothful Suggestions: Never use “Work Hard.” When people come to your Sim’s house, never ask them to leave. Sleep on the beach. Skip work and/or school whenever your Sim is in the mood. Leave bowls of food on the ground for your toddler heir. Back float in the ocean. Don’t amass a personal fortune of more than 5k or so (excluding house/possessions). Sleep.
Update Notes: If you aren’t in the building mood, add your Sloth to an existing household of roommates! Leech off their constant baking, never clean anything, lie on the couch in the living room in your underwear. Another potential storyline? Lazily find the Sim who will take care of you! Neat/Good/Foodie? I don’t know why they’d be with YOU, but you can dream!

Generation 2: Pride
Maybe it’s because their parent was such a lump of nothing, but this generation wants to sparkle. This generation’s Sim will be famous, beloved, and better than you — and they’ll do anything to achieve that.

Aspiration: World-Famous Celebrity
Traits at aging into Young Adult should include Self-Absorbed and Self-Assured
Suggested Careers: Acting, Entertainer, Style Influencer, Social Media
Build Component:  The lounges in the game are nowhere NEAR cool enough for Pride. Make a better lounge!
Additional Prideful Suggestions: Give them “plastic surgery” with cas.fulleditmode when they become a teenager. If you have Get Famous, rule Drama Club with an iron fist. Only make an heir with another celebrity. Send them to multiple Starlight Accolade ceremonies and make them throw tantrums when they lose. Steal the Stars of other celebrities. Spread rumors. Win.

Generation 3: Lust
With all the resources passed down by their famous parent, this generation wants to have fun. They never settle down, they enjoy the thrill of cheating and they break hearts with glee. It’s about pleasure and conquest. Feelings? What?

Aspiration: Serial Romantic
Traits at aging into Young Adult should include Romantic and Noncommittal
Suggested Careers: Any freelance career, Entertainer, Artist, or Athlete
Build Component: Your Sim probably has a bunch of cash by now. Build them their perfect woohoo-inspiring boudoir.
Additional Lustful Suggestions: See how many kids your Sim can bring into the world. If you hire a nanny or a butler, find out if they’re up for seduction. See if your Sim can achieve every WooHoo option in the game. Find out how long it takes for any of your partners to realize they’re only one of a crowd. When someone breaks up with your Sim, win them back — and then cheat again, because that’s just the sinner you are.
Update Notes: OK, I will talk about a N.A.P. here. “Free Love” is great, but it makes this Sim not terrible as opposed to terrible. It’s your sinning challenge — you do you! But Free Love takes the suspense out of finding out who’s doing who!

Generation 4: Envy
Whatever someone else has, this generation wants. They’ll lie, cheat, steal, dig, and plunder tombs to acquire important objects, just so no one else can have them. They’re special, and they show it through their possessions.

Aspiration: Curator
Traits at aging into Young Adult should include Kleptomaniac and Jealous
Suggested Careers: Any. Work through as much of the Jungle Adventure gameplay as possible.
Build Component: Between the items your Sim steals, buys, and plunders, they’re going to end up with a lot of stuff. Before they become an Elder, build them a museum (could be just a room in your Sim’s house) featuring the best of their belongings!
Additional Envious Suggestions: Why would you steal TVs and chairs when you could steal things that are important to other people? Look for art, cultural artifacts, and personal items. If you don’t have Jungle Adventure, really lean in to that kleptomaniac life — steal from every museum, beat up Father Winter for gifts, and never give anything back. This generation is all about taking.

Generation 5: Gluttony
If the previous generation liked to take, this generation likes to consume. This isn’t necessarily about food — it’s also about overdoing it with juice, woohoo, travel, partying, and whatever else tickles your Sim’s fancy. This generation doesn’t think enough is ever enough.

Aspiration: Master Chef
Traits at aging into Young Adult should include Glutton
Suggested Career: Culinary (either branch)
Build Component: Build them an over-the-top restaurant that embodies the spirit of “gluttony.”
Additional Gluttonous Suggestions: Try to learn all the recipes in game. Throw Gold-rated dinner parties. Create a club dedicated entirely to food, drink, woohoo, and revelry, and see how long your Sim can keep a gathering going. If you have Island Living, earn the elusive Gold at a kava party. Skill all the way up in Dance. Throw every possible Social Event. Celebrate, regardless of the consequences!

Generation 6: Wrath
This generation isn’t content with consumption — it wants to conquer. This generation takes what it wants through violence, scheming, and other nefarious activities, and if everyone hates them, that’s just fine. Wrath doesn’t want any friends.

Aspiration: Public Enemy
Traits at aging into Young Adult should include Mean and Hot-Headed
Suggested Career: Criminal (either branch)
Build Component: Make a hideout for your criminal and their crew (residential or non-residential, you decide)
Additional Wrathful Suggestions: See how many enemies your Sim can acquire. If you have Strangerville, buy a ton of listening devices and bug everyone. Blackmail all the way! Make prank calls, send chain letters and spam money requests, cheat on your partners. See how many deaths your Sim can inspire! Whatever is rude, vile, uncouth, or smelly, do it.
Update Notes: Consider vampirism! It’s violent, jerky, and lets you turn people you don’t like into immortal blood-drinking monsters. Talk about Wrath! Also, your Wrath Sim will be around to annoy Generation 7 for their *entire lives*.

Generation 7: Greed
This generation takes materialism to an extreme. While nearly every sin contains some aspect of greed, it’s time to spend your last generation securing your Sim’s financial and material legacy.  Build a fortune and a mansion so amazing that the family will be remembered forever.

Aspiration: Fabulously Wealthy OR Mansion Baron
Traits at aging into Young Adult should include Snob and Materialistic.
Suggested Careers: Business (either branch), Politician (Politician Branch), Tech Guru (either branch)
Build Component: Build a mansion worth at least $250k simoleons.
Additional Greedy Suggestions: Never waste a simoleon. Keep those lights off when you’re not in the room. Go to the Flea Market and Haggle. Try to eat at other people’s houses and events, not on your own dime. Take advantage of bar specials. Sell whatever you scrounge or make, unless it fits your Sim’s vision of their legacy. If you have Get Famous, buy a Vault and enjoy all the money-loving activities it allows.
Update Notes: Screw. You. Knox. If you have EcoLifestyle, just yawn and roll your eyes at all those eco-freaks running around with air vacuums. You’re in your air-conditioned mansion, and when someone has to go cough in the smog, it’s your butler, not you. Totally have a butler.