Did you think magic was just a cute thing sims could do, but not really too useful? Think again! Magic & the Apocalypse
This is John. Here he is on his first day of the apocalypse, sleeping in a chair because we haven't the money for a bed. I've spent all his cash on building an 8x8 house for him, which would be tough later thanks to Architecture. John is the usual Apoc founder--max skills, permaplat, twenty-four friends, and in his case, max magic skill. He has a job in Criminal, which his major allowed him to take on the second day. He has all his needs perks and the first two job perks, which he bought in college. He brought home his diploma, an Elixir, and his cauldron. It doesn't matter how unhappy John is right now. With his permaplat status, he is sure to be promoted.
Next day, John's promoted and he's got his bed. That brings the collection to one chair, one grill, one fridge, one diploma. John also has the cauldron and elixir, of course. He can't use the cauldron yet, so it's parked on the roof. At this point, the only spell he can cast is Magivestigium, but it would drag him towards Neutral, so heavy use isn't worth it. Disclaimer: My goal in this experiment is to take advantage of every possible magical loophole and make the apocalypse entirely irrelevant. The challenge was meant for play within the spirit of the rules, not destruction testing.
John's getting regular promotions, and in between there's not much for him to do. Tuesdays are hectic, but otherwise, it's a matter of writing novels, refurbishing cars, slowly building a second floor (see those extra windows? they'll be moved up there when the walls are up), and waiting for the next shift. John has a higher salary from a reputation perk already, and the constant promotions mean there's more money than John can do anything with, since he already owns all the items that are allowed and useful.
John is promoted to Criminal Mastermind thanks to a lucky thumb-wrestling match (FT hobby chance card), lifting Hopelessness and Criminal. He has 19 days left to Elder and four days 'til Tuesday, when he can move in the founding spouse. At this point, if I had opted to bring back a Throne of Light rather than the Elixir, John would be able to use it. The Throne is a chair that refreshes all motives when you sit in it. Considering how easy it is to lift a restriction with a permaplat apocalypse founder, I really have no idea why I picked the Elixir in the first place.
Thanks to the Witch/Cat affinity, John needs only three or four interactions with Kim to adopt her--even without any of the Play interactions (which may or may not be blocked by Entertainment). When John adopts Kim, his daily relationship with her jumps to 99.
Kim makes herself useful by destroying the awkwardly placed bed.
We are of course teaching the cat to use the toilet. There is no reason to use a litter box if the cat can just use the can like anybody else. John has no special ability to train a cat any faster.
Kim also gets praised for eating sim food. She'll be eating the stockpile of food John has cached under the awning on the roof. Every day, John makes six servings of food and eats only one--sometimes less. The surplus is kitty food. Over the next few days, John teaches Kim to Shake, Come, and Roll Over. These are the commands she needs for the Service career.
The burglar steals the car, of course. John will have to renovate a new one.
Let's go for a traditional wedding: She in a raincoat, he in his pajamas, and two witnesses: A cat eating a rotten hamburger, and a dirty sink. Suzie here is a Business Tycoon. Her autolift allows us to--among other things--refill the refrigerator, use crafting benches (including that cauldron on the roof), and sell anything we like. She's also a Nice Witch. John witchified her while he was in college. They can both use her magic book.
Newly able to use a crafting bench, John immediately goes for the Throne of Light. Two of them, in fact.
After the Suziesicle finishes off the renovation on the replacement car (hey, don't blame me if she likes tinkering enough to freeze her butt off), it takes her just over two hours on the Throne of Light to replenish her nearly drained Energy, completely drained Hygiene, and low Hunger, Bladder, and Comfort. Her Fun meter was maxed already. Yeah, the Suziesicle's crazy. Anyway, we now no longer have to worry about either witch's needs. That means the one daily meal automatically goes to the cat. Additionally, the inability to lock wants isn’t much of a handicap for apocowitches. They never sleep, so their wants don't cycle as much.
"I’m so glad we remodeled this car. Now we can start on the next generation in peace.“ "Uhh... is that a guy in a cow's head behind us?“ The next generation is on the way.
With the Music restriction, cauldroncrafting gets interesting. Every floor space not covered in snow is soon covered in reagents. This is the second floor. The roof is still slowly being built and covered by two squares per day of awning. Also, John’s still furious at the burglar. Oh, come off it, John. Your wife was overjoyed to build another car after the burglar stole it. (Seriously. Predestined hobby.)
As if the Thrones could be even more broken, here's Susie skilling while sitting in one. It has the usual effect of replenishing all her needs, so she could sit down with zero points and never get up until the skill was maxed. Snapdragons beware, there's a new kid in town!
"Aaah! I'm a pregnant apocosim who can't meditate! I'm going to diiiie!“ Shaddup and go jump rope some more, Suzie. She can't meditate, but she can still skill Body. While pregnant.
The ceiling lamps and wall sconces are not from the Lighting tab, so they are legal. Magical lighting doesn't require science (unless of course the science is sufficiently advanced as to be indistinguishable). They don't actually increase the environment much. The bare walls and stockpiled hamburgers tank it into the red most days, and they can't be hung outside unless under an overhanging ceiling or awning. They do make picture-taking easier, though. Suzie, that's inefficient! Wrong throne! Toilets are for cats!
SPELL NAME: Aqua Deletus LEVEL: 0 REAGENTS: 1 Mystic Dust, 1 Crystallized Moonbeams ALIGNMENT: Neutral EFFECT: Remove puddles--like Kim-kitty's pee puddle, here. Usefulness in an apocalypse? Meh. It’s only faster with multiple puddles.
SPELL NAME: Creatum Nutrimens LEVEL: 4 REAGENTS: 2 Dragon Scales, 1 Eye of Newt ALIGNMENT: Neutral EFFECT: Create a meal. Six servings. This particular casting created omelettes at 3 a.m., but what you create depends on the time of day. Another casting got jello at noon. Usefulness in an apocalypse: Culinary restriction? What Culinary restriction? It's not too useful to John, who can just fill up by sitting on a Throne, but it will be very useful to any sim who can't use a Throne. I’ve only used the spell once per day, as you would for Culinary, but technically there is no limit. Being able to make things like pancakes or chili also lets you satisfy your sims’ food cravings, if you keep plates of different foods in a closed-off room of their own.
Welcome, baby boy Merlin. If you were wondering, Suzie got to Body 9, starting from 3, all while pregnant and unable to meditate during an apocalypse. There’s something very wrong with that.
Suzie maxes her body skill while little Merlin is still less than a day old. We don't need cribs here; he's fine on the floor. A baby on the floor takes up less space than a baby in a crib; that's just the simple truth! Unfortunately, Suzie's foray into athleticism lands her with a very useless hobby plaque that we can't place, and now it's clogging up an inventory slot. Of course, Business is lifted, so that's not a problem. *sells*
SPELL NAME: CORPUS ATHLETICUS LEVEL: 1 REAGENTS: 1 Dragon Scales, 2 Mystic Dust. ALIGNMENT: Neutral EFFECT: Change target sim's body type to Fit. Usefulness in an apocalypse: Close to useless... unless the target has a 3,500-point Want to Get Fit. I had three such wants during play.
SPELL NAME: Creatum Insecto Volucris LEVEL: 0 REAGENTS: 1 Essence of Light, 2 Crystallized Moonbeams ALIGNMENT: Good EFFECT: Create butterflies or firefles—even in Winter. Usefulness in an apocalypse: Ehhh. Not so much. It does pick up the outdoor environment score a little, but "a little" isn't very much. The butterflies can be Viewed for fun when caught, the fireflies provide a light source; but as we already know, reagents can be viewed too, and magical light sources don't go out like fireflies do.
Apocacar says: Another baby on the way! Double beds are space wasters, so my apocalypse kids are always conceived in the car, and my apocalypse parents sleep in separate single beds.
We hit a snag when little Merlin turns toddler: Turns out he can't be targeted with spells. Well, not directly. The lot-wide spell Benemoodus Locus would affect him, but that takes more than three reagents and we haven't lifted Athletic.
So... the usual method of Apocalypse stinky-toddler management applies. Keep that kid in platinum! Not hard, of course, when the parents are always in good moods. Here, Suzie is teaching him how to walk. He's already learned to talk. Suzie herself has switched to the Science career track. She can't lift any more restrictions, but if she makes it to the top, she gets permaplat.
Why, yes, Apocalypse toddlers ARE better off sleeping in pet beds. They can get in by themselves so their busy parents don't have to spend time putting them in cribs. The one difference between Merlin here and his feline friend is that Kim is a total pigpen and gets her bed dirty in about three seconds flat. She even has to be ordered to clean herself. If you get a Pigpen cat for your apocopet, and you can't praise her for cleaning herself because she doesn't do it, just scatter some trash around and let her roll in it, then scold her for it. A topped-out Clean behavior lets you command her to clean herself whether she cares to or not.
SPELL NAME: Magivestigum LEVEL: 3 ALIGNMENT: Neutral EFFECT: Teleport Usefulness in an apocalypse: It doesn’t use up any reagents, so it can be cast whenever you like. It has its uses, and it's better than the teleport that comes with Meditation because you can cast it anytime; but it's worse than the Ninja teleport because it's not as fast. Here, John teleports to the top floor to grab an incoming phone. Beware: Your alignment will go towards neutral even for this minor spell!
Kim has lifted the pet Service career—no senile elders in this apocalypse! Hey, random townie, want a pet?
Here's the second kid. This is baby girl Morgana. Full disclosure: My game crashed on the last day of Suzie's pregnancy with Morgana, and I lost several days of gameplay. I had to cheat them back to where they'd been before, as I didn't want to replay just for a playtest, so if Merlin looks different, that's why. (The weird boxes in the background are the lot debugger and a macro controller. They don't give you an advantage, if you don't use them to cheat, unless “a lack of carpal tunnel syndrome” counts.)
"I stink!“ Yes, but you grew up well and learned all your toddler skills. Children are also not valid targets for spells. Too bad. Hey, look, at least your daddy can conjure food that isn’t endless Questionable Hot Dogs. Go grab yourself some chili and then go wash your hands fifty bazillion times.
Morgana grows up while John, proving once and for all that he is indeed a girly man, sews curtains for the apocohut. He would be sewing toddler wear to get little Morgana out of that awful tux, but of course we're not allowed a changing table yet. Under some proposed rules, we might be allowed a single cheap dresser to take advantage of home-sewn clothing before a Show Biz lift; but clothes are cosmetic and the Environment-increasing effects of curtains, quilts, and such are not to be sneezed at. Right now, the best bet is curtains. Quilts take up two squares and are not allowed in John's inventory.
This is Jan. John is in love with her and Merlin is going to marry her, so we'll move her in. Another typically messed-up apocalypse marriage. Jan doesn't mind; she's Romance. No cheaty autolifts here, though. Well, kind of no cheaty autolifts. Jan is a Coach, which is level 9 Athletic, and she needs one Body point and three Charisma for her promotion to level 10.
Morgana as a child. She grew up well, but only learned walking, talking, and the nursery rhyme. If we'd had two more hours, she would've been potty trained. Oh, well. Even with magic, kids are still relatively hard. Most of their time is spent in front of the sink, even though their parents are almost always free to pay attention to them.
SPELL NAME: Benemoodus Simae LEVEL: 0 ALIGNMENT: Good REAGENTS: 1 Mystic Dust, 1 Dragon Scales EFFECT: Refills all of a sim's motives about a quarter of the way. Doesn't require the target to stop doing whatever they're doing. Usefulness in an Apocalypse: Can you say "broken"? I knew you could. A witch can cast this without studying at all, and it's available to all alignments. John here cast Benemoodus three times to keep Jan at her jump rope through the night. Cold will be more of a threat to Jan than low motives because there's very little room left indoors with five sims and a huge pile of reagents.
The Headmaster can't come inside because John doesn't trust him not to be a spy. Intelligence restriction: No service sims that enter the house. Nobody enters the house that isn't a friend. So we lock Korey here out and have dinner on the lawn. The Headmaster gives forty-some points for the conjured food, cheers for the outdoors (the only room we can show him), and ignores John's schmoozing. The kids don't get in—though once John has full access to spells like Mactoamicus (which works like repeated applications of Social Glasses), getting into private school should be a breeze.
Merlin grew up in the low platinum in front of the sink. As a teen, he is a valid spell target. John now has two sims to support with Benemoodus Simae. Here's Merlin working on his eighth logic point soon after growing up. The Head Witches can only be invited over on Tuesdays, so I actually prefer, at this point, cauldroncrafting reagents. With a max magic sim like John, cauldroncrafting is just plain easy.
Morgana manages her A+ where Merlin didn't. In Merlin's defense, he had almost nothing but snow days, and certainly didn't have a Benemoodus-fueled big brother to do homework for him.
"Aaaah! My daddy's a warlock and he just cast a spell on me!" Yeah, what gave you that idea, Merlin? Maybe the fact that he’s got a raging case of the witch pox, or the fact that your mood just mysteriously went up? Anyway, this reaction is just like the "shock" you get when a sim walks in on somebody in the shower. It hasn't got any effects on the shocked sim's needs, so your magical sims can feel free to zap the Muggles at will.
Here's the finished house. As you can see, it's all cheap building supplies, two floors, and an awning under which we're storing all those reagents. I noticed some interesting things about move_objects, namely, what you can't do when you have it off: One, I was unable to place connecting stairs in most places. Two, I was unable to build walls next to the road; so anyone who has a driveway will have to use the front row for a balcony and actually have a 7x8 house. Three, you need surprisingly little in the way of room dividers if you just give your sims cubbyholes to sleep in and a toilet next to their beds. Gross? Yep, but it works. The bathroom/bedroom does double-duty as privacy and soundproofing.
Jan just lifted the Athletic career. We can now move large items, use gym equipment, and--most important of all--carry more than three items in inventory. Most likely, she looks smug because she knows she just broke the Apocalypse.
SPELL NAME: Beautificus Locus LEVEL: 0 REAGENTS: 1 Dragon Scales, 1 Essence of Light, 1 Mystic Dust, 2 Crystallized Moonbeams ALIGNMENT: Good EFFECT: Destroys roaches and creates butterflies or fireflies, stops rain, and increases Environment score. After the casting, John's outdoor Envirnonment score is very close to full--even though there are no decorative items outside and the house is made from the very cheapest materials. Before the casting, it was pretty red, especially since we have had resident roaches since about the second week. Usefulness in an Apocalypse: I remind my readers that outdoor Environment score is the score that counts for the purposes of mood at work and school, and that roach spray is banned under Science.
SPELL NAME: Benemoodus Populus LEVEL: 7 REAGENTS: 2 Essence of Light, 1 Mystic Dust, 2 Crystallized Moonbeams ALIGNMENT: Good EFFECT: Increases every single need of every single sim on the lot by about a third or so. This includes visitors and, as you can see, children (and probably toddlers and babies too). No more stinky apocokids! The increase is modest, but the spell can be cast repeatedly and reagents are cheap. Usefulness in an apocalypse: If you have a dedicated witch, it's almost like being allowed to use max_motives whenever you want. This spell breaks the apocalypse into tiny little unrecognizable fragments.
SPELL NAME: Apello Simae LEVEL: 7 REAGENTS: 2 Dragon Scales, 2 Mystic Dust, 1 Crystallized Moonbeams ALIGNMENT: Neutral EFFECT: Summon to the lot any sim that the witch has ever met. Usefulness in an apocalypse: Completely obliterates the Gamer restriction. And, because you can summon even sims with a 0/0 relationship, also lets you ignore parts of Military. Here, John is summoning the head witch, so he can buy reagents from her. John has $75,000 to his name and nothing else to spend it on.
SPELL NAME: Tempus Interruptus LEVEL: 10 REAGENTS: 2 Dragon Sales, 1 Eye of Newt, 2 Mystic Dust, 1 Crystallized Moonbeams ALIGNMENT: Neutral EFFECT: Stop time. Any witch on the lot can act freely; any non-witch is frozen. Lasts the equivalent of about a sim hour or two. Usefulness in an apocalypse: The spell is high-level, requiring maximum magic skill, but that doesn't make it any less useful. This particular casting was used to let Suzie gain the last half a creativity point she neeed for a high-powered want to put her into platinum before she left for work. Oddly enough, the phone didn't ring when she finished a novel--but the oblivious deliverywoman brought the novel to their door anyway.
SPELL NAME: Magius Mutatio LEVEL: 9 REAGENTS: 1 Dragon Scales, 2 Newt Eyes, 1 Mystic Dust, 2 Crystallized Moonbeams ALIGNMENT: Neutral EFFECT: Turn another sim into a witch/warlock. Teens and up can be transformed. Usefulness in an apocalypse: Borders on broken, but we expected that. Unless your sims are neutral witches, transforming a sim lets that sim immediately take advantage of the Throne of Cheat, which your sim can either make now or will be able to make with just one more magic skill point. It puts a spellbook and cauldron in your sim's inventory, too, but that dosen't matter because if you're casting this spell, you've lifted Athletic.
So, John and Company are now well-placed to lift the entire Apocalypse with no problems. With full access to magic and the ability to transform any sim you like, they can... EXPELLO MORTIS: Banish Death. If a sim is going to die, you can stop it. Paranormal becomes near-useless, if it meant much to begin with now that sims have constantly full mood bars. MACTOAMICUS: Build relationships faster. After you summon that sim with Apello Simae, just slap this spell on them, or on yourself, for near-instant friendship! COMPELLO ACCEPTUS: They WILL accept the next five social interactions, whether they like it or not. Yes, it stacks with Mactoamicus. EXTRACTUM AMORUS: Evil spell, sure, but it's a great way to force a move out before it would otherwise become possible. With this spell, a married target automatically breaks up and moves out! APPELLO SERVANTUS: You know how you can't let any service sims on the lot if they enter your house? You now have a loophole--and the perfect maid.
So, what now, John? Going to have fifty zillion kids and lift the restrictions in record time? "What?! Lift? Are you kidding? All the other sims are still struggling to keep themselves fed and clean, and I can make Time and Death do my bidding! No, I shall leave this neighborhood to its apocalypse and become the king to whom they must all bow..." And here I thought he was Infallibly Good. In conclusion: Witches are broken.