Author Topic: The Reproductive Days of Christmas  (Read 1999 times)


Offline hazelnut

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The Reproductive Days of Christmas
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2017, 02:52:22 PM »
Auld Lang Syne

Getting drunk is a bad idea.

Making bets while drunk is a very bad idea.

Making drunken bets with the Grim Reaper is a really, really bad idea.



He always let himself relax between Christmas and New Year.  Come on, he deserved it.  The pace got madder and madder as December approached: reading letters by the thousand, checking off lists, supervising the elves’ last-minute toy orders…  And then that one night of total insanity, racing the dawn around the globe as all the presents were delivered.  He’d earned a week’s rest before it all started again.

But maybe he shouldn’t have relaxed quite so much.  Or started celebrating the end of the old year quite so early.

1.jpg

And all alone, at that.

2.jpg

Even when the lounge started to fill up, he stayed at the bar, on his own.

3.jpg

And then he started pouring out his sorrows to the barman.  The commercialisation of Christmas, cynical modern kids, stroppy modern elves, Dasher’s sore hoof, the tourists swarming all over Lapland and making it even harder to get the job done in time…

4.jpg

Yep, definitely should have left and gone home to bed right then.  Definitely shouldn’t have replied with more than a polite ‘hello’ when that chatty genie turned up.

5.jpg

Father Christmas and Grim knew each other, of course.  They didn’t exactly move in the same circles but they had both been around for a very long time.  Sooner or later, immortals are bound to run into each other.  FC had never met Grim’s genie friend before, though.  If only he could have continued in that state of happy innocence…

6.jpg

As midnight approached, he found himself deep in conversation with the pair of them.  Moaning again.  Commercialisation.  Tourists.  Elves.  Blah blah blah.  And then Grim came up with this scheme.

7.jpg

Why not set up (work)shop somewhere new?  Leave the tourists gawping at the old place; hire deputy Santas like the big stores did.  Move the real operation elsewhere, with a new bunch of elves who’d never heard of trade unions.

8.jpg

And then it got complicated.  No reindeer.  No snow.  Terms and conditions.  Breed his own elves: have kids and bring them up with a proper work ethic.

Um, kids?  Wouldn’t that mean… you know, a wife?

“Well… not necessarily – but definitely a girlfriend.  And I think I know the very person.”  That was the genie.  Come to think of it, Deirdra had been chipping in throughout.  He had a vague feeling (for some reason, his recollection was getting a little blurred by this point) that a lot of the dafter ideas were actually hers, and not Grim’s at all.

And then, somehow, he was agreeing to a bet.  The greatest new year’s resolution of them all.  To start from scratch in a new town, populate it with elves, complete a load of tasks along the way – and have the whole thing done by next Christmas.  Otherwise, Grim would win his crack team of reindeer.  It seemed that the Reaper fancied having a go at sleigh racing.  Racing?  Those deer were finely-honed athletes, pampered and trained to perfection for that one night a year.

Ridiculous!

So why had he agreed?

9.jpg



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Offline Deklitch

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Re: The Reproductive Days of Christmas
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2017, 05:04:11 PM »
oh, how wonderful :) Another domination dynasty.

Looking forward to it, hazelnut

Offline hazelnut

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Re: The Reproductive Days of Christmas
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2017, 09:01:33 AM »
Thanks, Dek :).

The domination dynasty's the only one I've not tried.  It never appealed before but I wanted to play a short, Christmassy game and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to have a go.

Offline hazelnut

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The Reproductive Days of Christmas
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2017, 09:08:27 AM »
See Amid the Winter's Snow

Deirdra found her at the junkyard, passed out in a clump of brambles and frozen half to death.

1.Junkyard.jpg

And, oh dear, the smell!  Well, at least that was easy to fix.

2.Cleaning.jpg

Wait a minute, were those wings?  What was a fairy doing in Twinbrook?  Still, first things first.  The poor thing must be starving.  Summon some hot food and get it into her before asking for explanations.

3.Food.jpg

Deirdra half-carried the waif indoors and made her eat a big slice.  She’d never seen anyone more in need of the warm fuzzies of baked angel food cake.

4.Food.jpg

The fairy didn’t take much persuading to tell her story.

“It all started when my family moved house a few months ago…”
“Your family?  Where are they?  Do they need help as well?”
“No, not my own family.  I mean, I have sisters – hundreds of them – but we’re scattered all round the world.  No, I mean the family I belonged to.  I used to be a Christmas tree fairy.”

Belonged to?  It sounded a lot like slavery to Deirdra.

“I’d been with them for generations, standing on the top of the tree.  Oh, I loved looking out at the other decorations!”

5.Story.jpg

And spending the rest of the year in a box in a dusty attic, no doubt.  That was even worse than being trapped inside a lamp.

“But then they moved here, to a funny old house.  All the decorations were stored in an outbuilding.  There were … m-mice.”  The fairy shuddered.  “They… they gnawed… My beautiful dress!  My hair....”  Her voice trailed off in a whisper.

“And then my family found me.  I thought they’d clean me up, make me a new outfit.  That’s what they’d always done before when I got a bit tatty.  Maybe they’d even make me a wig.  But no.  They went out and bought a new fairy.  Tacky little thing, all red foil and glitter…”

Deirdra was delighted by the hint of cattiness.  The fairy might be a victim but she still had spirit.  Maybe something could be done for her.



 “They’re moving me to a convalescent home tomorrow.  Little cabins in the woods near the healing spring.  It sounds nice.  They said I’ll be there until New Year.”

6.Hospital.jpg

Mary the fairy was looking and feeling much better after a week at the Rudolph Vanderburg.  Her colour was returning and her hair had been magically regrown.  Deirdra thought she still looked in need of TLC, though.  She made a mental note to give Mary a voucher for a spa day as a Christmas present.  If only she could give her some kind of purpose in life as well…



7.Hidden_Springs.jpg

“Oh, Deirdra, it’s so beautiful here!  I always wanted to see where Christmas trees came from.”
“Listen, I’ve had an idea, although I’m not sure whether it’ll appeal to you.  You see, I was seeing in the new year with an old friend…”  And Deirdra told Mary about the bet.

9.More.jpg

“Of course, it’d mean tying yourself to a fat, balding bloke with terrible dress sense who’s been around for hundreds of years.  We’ll make him take a Young Again potion but he’ll still look old and grey.  Come to think of it, maybe he should drink a Bottled Blessing of the Fae as well, so you can start off as equals.”

10.Agreement.jpg

“OK, I’ll do it!”
“You will?”

11.Crush.jpg

“Yes.  I’ve always had a bit of a crush on Father Christmas.”

Offline hazelnut

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Re: The Reproductive Days of Christmas
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2017, 11:22:53 AM »
Santa Claus is Coming to Town
(Watch out, Appaloosa Plains!)

What traits should Father Christmas have? Definitely Loves the Cold.  Good Sense of Humour (all that ho-ho-ho-ing) – or Grumpy if we’re going the Raymond Briggs route – Good, Animal Lover (since there isn’t a Reindeer Person trait) and probably Nurturing.  Come to think of it, maybe Workaholic and/or Insane, at least on Christmas Eve.

Instead, this one is Ambitious, Family-oriented, Artistic, Lucky and Loves the Outdoors.  His lifetime wish is to be Surrounded By Family.

1.Founders.jpg

Mary Tree-Fairy is a Born Saleswoman and Loves the Heat (she liked being on the tree surrounded by candles or electric lights).  Her remaining traits are the same as FC’s: Ambitious, Family-oriented and Loves the Outdoors.  She also wants to be Surrounded By Family.

Both are fairies.  I played a test game with Father Christmas as a vampire but didn’t feel the faster skill gain at night (which wasn’t all that pronounced) was worth the problems with sunlight during the day.  Anyway, a vampire Santa is just too incongruous.  This way, they can take it in turns to project auras of creativity while the other one’s magic is recharging.

I’m playing in Appaloosa Plains, because it’s the smallest town and I haven’t used it much, with all expansions apart from ITF.  It would make more sense to switch Seasons off as well but I wanted the outfits :).

Similarly, the five lot changes aren’t the ones you’d make if you were going all out for speed but they suit the more relaxed game I have in mind:
  • The big empty house at 305 Sweetapple Way has been replaced by a smaller one.
  • The film studio is at 1005 Pomona Promenade.
  • 1012 Pomona Promenade is now empty apart from the gypsy caravan and looks a little odd, since the terrain paint under the lot outlines the large house that used to be there.
  • The Appaloosa County Historical Society has had its building demolished (because I hate upgrading art galleries) and been replaced with Useful Stuff: the arboretum, the Vault of Antiquity, a subway and several cash registers.
  • The Port-a-Party Mini Warehouse has gone.  One of my pet peeves is the way that the Showtime lots tend to get plonked down in places with a beautiful vista – and that building is such an eyesore.  1816 Ednamary Way is now a residential lot again and will be the family’s home.
2.Start.jpg

Although playing in winter would make sense with these characters, it would probably be a little inconvenient for the actual gameplay.  So the year is set to 28 days of summer. The moon phase is fixed at waxing gibbous.

Offline Sarabi

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Re: The Reproductive Days of Christmas: Santa Claus is Coming to Town
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2017, 01:59:15 PM »
An inspired start, and so very timely!

I appreciate that you're including strategy here.  I might want to try one of these at some point, and it will be very helpful.



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Offline hazelnut

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Re: The Reproductive Days of Christmas: Santa Claus is Coming to Town
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2017, 10:20:16 AM »
Thank you :).

I appreciate that you're including strategy here.  I might want to try one of these at some point, and it will be very helpful.

Not too sure about the strategy: I know how I'd play this if I was really trying and this isn't it.  Pretty sure I'll have more fun this way, though ;).

Offline Deklitch

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Re: The Reproductive Days of Christmas: Santa Claus is Coming to Town
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2017, 03:00:46 PM »
Well, having fun is important :)

Offline LenaLJ

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Re: The Reproductive Days of Christmas: Santa Claus is Coming to Town
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2017, 11:15:13 AM »
Domination Dynasty is still my all time favorite dynasty
Good luck to Santa and Mary

Offline KRae

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Re: The Reproductive Days of Christmas: Santa Claus is Coming to Town
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2017, 12:48:38 PM »
What fun! The Domination Dynasty is one of my favorites. I'm looking forward to reading this.

Offline hazelnut

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Re: The Reproductive Days of Christmas: Santa Claus is Coming to Town
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2017, 05:41:58 AM »
@Deklitch: True :).  And enjoy your Christmas in New Zealand - I was there for most of November and it was wonderful.  Coming back to  an unusually cold British winter was a bit of a shock, though :-\.

@LenaLJ, @KRae: Thanks :).  I'm not sure which is my favourite dynasty: maybe the 4x4 but they all have different strengths.  I've not really tried the Domination Dynasty before.  I started it once, ages ago, but gave up soon after the first Reproductive Day, when I suddenly had to change gear and manage a full household instead of just a couple.  Plus, the kids were really odd-looking  :P.  This time, I'm close to RD2 and still having fun.

Offline hazelnut

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Re: The Reproductive Days of Christmas
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2017, 05:48:33 AM »
Deck the Halls

So here they were.  That bet was looking like a worse idea all the time.  And Deirdra had given him these ridiculous little wings.  So embarrassing.  Didn't the woman know anything about aerodynamics?  Someone his size needed wings like a light aircraft, not something from a fancy-dress bee costume.

3.Start.jpg

Mary was amused.  You’d think someone who went around in a flying sleigh would realise that the normal rules don't apply to magical objects.  Those little wings would work just as well as larger ones.  Deirdra must have been trying to change his appearance as little as possible.  Either that, or she just had a nasty sense of humour.

Anyway, they really ought to make a start, rather than standing around fretting over wings.  Deirdra had given her a few hints on the quiet.

“If we’re going to have to learn to paint, we might as well get paid for it.  Let’s set up in business as architects.”

4.Lot.jpg

Within a day or two they’d settled into a routine.  Every morning, Father Christmas tended his little patch of garden while Mary visited the elixir shop.  The rest of the day was spent painting and sketching.  By the end of the week they'd become Dictators of Design.

5.Dictators_of_Design.jpg

The arrival of the first elves was suddenly looking like an imminent prospect.  Father Christmas being an old-fashioned kind of a guy, it was clearly time for a proposal.

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And, in a brief but nonetheless sincere ceremony, Mary Tree-Fairy became Mary Christmas.

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There was no time for a honeymoon.  The newlyweds hurried back to their easels to try to master painting before the wish-enhancing serum wore off.  (They didn’t quite make it :(.)

A few days later, their requirements were complete and chimes sounded from the fairy castle.

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“Tidings of great joy!  We’re going to hear the flutter of tiny wings.”

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“Er, what?”

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“You’re going to be a father, Father Christmas.  I’m knocked up.”

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They’d not carried out a single renovation for clients but now they needed one of their own.

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It wasn’t a proper Santa’s Village but at least there was space to raise a family.  They even splashed out on a big Christmas tree and a few decorations.

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And, below ground, the outline of a giant snowflake had appeared.

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A snowflake so special that it had more than the usual number of points :P.



Requirements for Reproductive Day 1

Maxed career: Architectural Designer for both.
Skill challenges: Proficient Painter and Brushmaster for both.  Mary has also completed two of the three consignment challenges (as usual, the game’s being slow to recognise her impressive reputation).
Unique Lifetime Rewards: Father Christmas is Immune to Heat and Mary's a Suave Seller.  They also have a couple of non-unique rewards: Entrepreneurial Mindset and Fertility Treatment.
Unique best friends: Kanoa Parrott (FC) and Alouette Bird (Mary).
Collection: sketches, three by Father Christmas and two by Mary.  Total value §92.

17.Sketches.jpg

I love that the toilet picture is the most valuable – and the only one that's appreciating with time ;).

Offline hazelnut

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Re: The Reproductive Days of Christmas
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2017, 01:39:11 PM »
The Holly and the Ivy
(And the Others)

Mary went into labour late on their second Thursday in Appaloosa Plains.  Aaarghhh!!  Was being Surrounded by Family really worth this?

18.Labour.jpg

(She wasn’t the only one making pained noises.  I’d got them to Try for Baby very early in the morning, knowing that the first Reproductive Day was going to be pretty hectic, but when she went into labour before midnight, I thought I’d blown it.  Fortunately, the first baby didn't arrive until around 1am the following day.)

Their first daughter, Mistletoe, arrived and Mary realised she’d been right after all – children were wonderful.

19.Birth.jpg

She walked around cuddling the baby until she felt the urge to spin and sparkle again – so Holly and Ivy were born just outside the front door.  Then she took the triplets to their first birthday cakes while Father Christmas went to the arboretum to shed his wings with a sigh of relief.  He stopped off at the hospital on the way back and emerged with two small copies of himself.  He named the first Noel and the second Yule.

20.Clones.jpg

Mary became human with some regret.  Even though she’d lost her job, she was still a Christmas tree fairy at heart.  Even acquiring another daughter, Carol, didn’t really make up for the loss of her wings.

21.Human.jpg

Everyone posed for a family photo before the children had their first cakes.

22.RD1portrait.jpg
(That’s Ivy on her dad’s shoulders, Holly holding Mary’s hand, Carol and Yule standing in front of them, and Noel and Mistletoe sitting on the ground.)

During Mary’s pregnancy, the parents-to-be had taken up a new skill, alchemy.

23.Alchemy.jpg

Now they returned to their books and cauldrons, while the teens spray-painted almost everything else and the toddlers amused themselves…

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…although it was hard to get much done with all of the birthdays that kept happening around them.

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Sweet little Mistletoe remained a child until her parents had mastered alchemy.  (I was surprised that clones count towards Surrounded by Family, since they start out as children.  Father Christmas was going to achieve his lifetime wish sooner than I’d expected – and I wanted him to drink wish-enhancing serum first.)

26.Teen_Mistletoe.jpg

Noel, as Senior Elf, took to inventing – someone had to come up with new toy ideas.

27.Inventing.jpg

Carol, of course, became a singer.

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Yule and Mistletoe, who were drawn to the mystical side of Christmas, became a fortune teller and an alchemist respectively, while Ivy temporarily took over the garden and Holly the genius became an investigator.

(Holly was given genius as a birth trait by the game.  When I discovered how quickly she learned street art from books at the library – far faster than her siblings who were covering the house in graffiti – I decided to choose the trait for every elf I could in future.)

Based on a tip from Deirdra, Mary advised all of the kids to choose Swimming in Cash as their lifetime wishes, but Yule, who was rebellious and artistic, wanted to be Street Credible instead.

(I really messed up there.  I thought Yule would knock out his seven masterpieces as quickly as my previous street artists had done – and then I could use his happiness points to buy an inheritance or a genie lamp, so that all of the others would get their wishes.  Nice idea – but Yule was astonishingly untalented.  Even after he maxed the skill and picked up avant garde as a rebel trait, he still kept churning out ordinary murals.  He was actually the last to achieve his LTW – Mary’s elixir store dealings were profitable enough for the other elves to get their wishes without extra cash.)

29.Street_credible.jpg



Reproductive Day 1 Elves (born/cloned W2D6)

Noel
30.Noel.jpg

Maxed skill: street art
Level 2 career: Inventor
Building/property: Flying V’s Coffeehouse
Moved out: W3D6
New home: 19440 Bob-o-Link Drive


Yule
31.Yule.jpg

Maxed skill: street art
Level 2 career: Fortune Teller
Building/property: Rustler'’s Den
Moved out: W3D7
New home: 305 Sweetapple Ridge Way


Carol
32.Carol.jpg

Maxed skill: street art
Level 2 career: Singer
Building/property: Gypsy Wagon
Moved out: W3D5
New home: 141 Nandina Parkway


Holly
34.Holly.jpg

Maxed skill: street art
Level 2 career: Investigator
Building/property: Performance Park
Moved out: W3D7
New home: 19443 Bob-o-Link Drive


Ivy
35.Ivy.jpg

Maxed skill: street art
Level 2 career: Gardener
Building/property: Vault of Antiquity
Moved out: W3D6
New home: 67 Rachelle Lane

Mistletoe
33.Mistletoe.jpg

Maxed skill: street art
Level 2 career: Alchemist.  (She actually reached level 8.)
Building/property: Darris Teeter Grocery and the Koffi Café
Moved out: W4D1
New home: 19442 Bob-o-Link Drive

And the first point of the snowflake lit up:

36.Snowflake.jpg

37.Portraits.jpg
38.Portraits.jpg

Oddly, all of the houses are now occupied – even though story progression is off, the game has moved people into most of the empty houses.

Offline hazelnut

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Re: The Reproductive Days of Christmas
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2017, 03:36:34 AM »
No Crib for a Bed

The two of them were alone together again – but not for long.  By the time the last of the kids moved out, this had already happened:

39.TFB.jpg

And so had this:

40.Pregnant.jpg

Requirements for Reproductive Day 2 (W4D3)

Maxed career: Alchemist for both.
Skill challenges: Master Alchemist and Master Painter for both.
Unique Lifetime Rewards: No Bills Ever for Father Christmas, Competitive Eater for Mary.
Unique best friends: Benjamin Schmidt (FC) and Stuart Bedlington (Mary).
Collection: fireflies, three caught by Father Christmas and two by Mary.  Total value §43.

41.Fireflies.jpg

Mary had triplets again, two girls and a boy this time.

42.Birth.jpg

After some cakes and a couple of trips to the science lab, it was time to pose for another family photo.

43.RD2photo.jpg
Elves from left to right: Marzipan, Port, Mince Pie, Pudding (at the back next to Mary), Icing, and Stilton half-hidden behind her.

Holly had added cake tables to the Performance Park as part of her upgrade, so the three children celebrated their birthdays across the road, leaving their parents to start on their new careers in peace.

44.Cakes.jpg

Mary was so intent on unblocking toilets that she barely noticed she’d achieved her lifetime wish.

45.MaryLTW.jpg

With the babies growing up so fast it didn’t seem worth investing in cots.  The first set of triplets had slept in the fairy castle.  These poor little nooboos laid down their sweet heads wherever they happened to flake out.

46.Groundboos.jpg



I’d aged up the first set of elves, apart from Mistletoe, as soon as possible, but found all the graduations irritating.  This time, the clones stayed as teenagers until the triplets had caught them up.  In retrospect, that was a bad idea.  It probably delayed the next Reproductive Day by a day or two, although the randomness of masterpiece portraits seems to be the biggest factor.  And it didn’t quite work out anyway: celebrating their young adult birthdays took so long that Stilton aged up just after midnight and graduated a day later than the others.

Mary had been lagging behind on the skilling in the run-up to Reproductive Day 2 and so drank a Bottled Witches' Brew to help with her alchemy.  Port and Stilton were born as witches.  Cowardly Stilton largely ignored his supernatural powers but Port autonomously played with magic and conjured apples whenever she had a free moment, obligingly levelling her magic to the point where she could Ice Blast a line of cheap dishwashers for future use.

Reproductive Day 2 Elves

Pudding
47.Pudding.jpg

Maxed skill: street art
Level 2 career: Culinary
Building/property: Walls’ Book & Bath LLC
Moved out: W5D3
New home: 1813 Ednamary Way (formerly the Marshall residence)

Mince Pie
48.MincePie.jpg

Maxed skill: street art
Level 2 career: Journalism
Building/property: Darris Teeter Art Theater
Moved out: W5D4
New home: 202 Horseshoe Loop (Bird)

Marzipan
49.Marzipan.jpg

Maxed skill: street art
Level 2 career: Education
Building/property: Dog'’s Day Town Plaza
Moved out: W5D5
New home: 69 Rachelle Lane (which had been occupied by an EA clone, Somebody-or-other Myers)

Icing
50.Icing.jpg

Maxed skill: street art
Level 2 career: Painter
Building/property: Equestrian Regional Training Grounds
Moved out: W5D2
New home: 19441 Bob-o-Link Drive (Parrott)

Port
51.Port.jpg

Maxed skill: street art
Level 2 career: Nectar Maker
Building/property: Plumbob Pictures Backlot
Moved out: W5D3
New home: 19445 Bob-o-Link Drive (Unfettered With Feathers)

Stilton
52.Stilton.jpg

Maxed skill: street art
Level 2 career: Science
Building/property: Novigan Community Cat Jungle
Moved out: W5D4
New home: 19444 Bob-o-Link Drive (Schmidt)

The alleged masterpieces:

53.Portraits.jpg
54.Portraits.jpg



I’m beginning to regret going for 'Father Christmas' rather than 'Santa'.  Some of Mary's wishes are downright creepy:

55.Awkward_wishes.jpg

*Shudders*

Offline hazelnut

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Re: The Reproductive Days of Christmas
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2017, 10:07:31 AM »
Comfort and Joy

Requirements for Reproductive Day 3 (W5D5)

Maxed career: Firefighter for both.
Skill challenges: Plumber and Tinkerer for both.
Unique Lifetime Rewards: Nerd Influence for Father Christmas, Bookshop Bargainer for Mary.
Unique best friends: Johnny Johnson (FC) and Juanita Blanco (Mary).
Collection: service awards, two for Father Christmas and three for Mary.  Total value §16.

56.Awards.jpg

I'm not quite sure how they ended up with honour trophies.  They dealt with a herd of rampaging llamas in the gypsy caravan (clearly that place has Tardis-like properties) but I don't remembering them rescuing anyone.



Once again, Mary gave birth outside the front door.

57.Birth.jpg

Imogen Pelly, who happened to be passing, pretended not to notice but then rather spoiled the effect by crossing the road through the ice-cream van.

The customary family photo:

58.RD3pic.jpg
Back row, left to right: Tinsel, Father Christmas, Mary holding Cranberry, Bauble.
Front row: Sage being hugged by Onion, Star sitting on the floor.


Mary and Father Christmas had starting learning instruments during her second pregnancy.

59.Music.jpg

Now they decided it was time to go professional.  Father Christmas named their band Comfort and Joy, "because I'’m built for comfort and you bring me so much joy".  What an old romantic  ::).

Leaving the teenaged clones in charge of the babies (they're such caring parents), they went off to spend most of the next few days playing for tips in the subway.

There was another set of birthdays and the Glittery Three thankfully left the children playing at home while they started on the familiar round of finding jobs and reading about street art.

60.Glittery3.jpg

The Christmases' first wedding anniversary rolled around.  They celebrated while the kids were out of the house – and there were chimes.

61.Anniversary.jpg



For those studying strategy, this is where 'How Not to Do It' really gets going.  I thought I was pushing it a bit by letting them Try For Baby so soon.  I should really have waited another day but they had completed their requirements already and I liked the idea of the anniversary celebration resulting in babies.  Sage and Onion were self-employed and ought to be out of the house well before Mary's due date; Tinsel, a professional acrobat, had just left.  The other three were in rabbithole careers, which hadn't been notably successful so far in this game (the elves kept just missing promotions) – but I could do something about that.  Hanging on to every possible happiness point was becoming less important, so all of them could buy Multitasker.  Father Christmas had grown a lot of high-quality basil by now and there was always Liquid Job Booster.

Oh dear!  Have I mentioned how little I've played with Supernatural?  Either I didn't know that Liquid Job Booster has the reverse effect in rabbithole jobs or I'd forgotten it.  Their performance meters hardly moved during their first day at work.  Even worse, Cranberry, who'd randomly rolled Supernatural Sceptic, had a negative moodlet from drinking the elixir.  And, just to rub it in completely, Sage, who'd got her promotion with a single photograph, set a new family record for non-masterpiece portraits – in fact, only one was brilliant, which was quite an achievement by this stage in the game.



Reproductive Day 3 Elves

Tinsel
62.Tinsel.jpg

Maxed skill: street art
Level 2 career: Acrobat
Building/property: Hangman's Tree National Historic Landmark (Dog Park)
Moved out: W6D1
New home: 1938 Beach Boulevard (Loveland)

Star
64.Star.jpg

Maxed skill: street art
Level 2 career: Film
Building/property: Appaloosa County Water Treatment
Moved out: W6D4
New home: 1810 Ednamary Way (Shanita Mason – EA clone)

Bauble
63.Bauble.jpg

Maxed skill: street art
Level 2 career: Art Appraiser
Building/property: Rags to Riches Consignment Store
Moved out: W6D6
New home: 27 Gentrify Manor (Bedlington)

(Bauble was actually ready to move out two days before this but stayed on to help with the next set of babies and the garden.)

Cranberry
65.Cranberry.jpg

Maxed skill: street art
Level 2 career: Law Enforcement
Building/property: Appaloosa Plains Public Pool
Moved out: W6D4
New home: 192 Horseshoe Loop (Country Cowpokes)

Sage
66.Sage.jpg

Maxed skill: street art
Level 2 career: Photographer
Building/property: Aleister's Elixirs and Sundries
Moved out: W6D5
New home: 1812 Ednamary Way (Darnell)

Onion
67.Onion.jpg

Maxed skill: street art
Level 2 career: Angler
Building/property: Cinnamon Crest Falls
Moved out: W6D4
New home: 309 Sweetapple Ridge Way (Pinkerton)

The museum portraits:

69.Portraits.jpg
68.Portraits.jpg

Offline hazelnut

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Re: The Reproductive Days of Christmas
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2017, 08:23:04 AM »
I Saw Mummy Kissing Santa Claus

Requirements for Reproductive Day 4 (W6D4)

Maxed career: Band for both.
Skill challenges: Piano Money Maker and Electrician for Father Christmas, Guitar Money Maker and Electrician for Mary.
Unique Lifetime Rewards: Rebel Influence for Father Christmas, Jock Influence for Mary.
Unique best friends: Esme Curley (FC), Tate Curley (Mary).
Collection: metals: two collected by Father Christmas and three by Mary.  Total value §112.

70.Metals.jpg

By the time Mary went into labour, only Tinsel and Onion had left home, so she had twins.  (Given that they arrived on 24 December my time, no prizes for guessing the girl's name.)  Cranberry, Star and Bauble all got their promotions a few hours later, so there was just time for the two girls to move out and two new clones to move in before the end of the day.

71.Famphoto.jpg
From left to right: Snow, Mary holding Eve, Robin, and Father Christmas holding Rudolph.

Mary and FC signed up as lifeguards and divided their time between working out at the gym…

72.Workout.jpg

…and practising their charisma on each other, much to the kids' disgust.

73.Kiss.jpg

Maybe it was because there were only four of them, but bringing up this batch of elves went unusually smoothly.  It helped that Mary painted masterpiece portraits of three of them on the first try :).



Reproductive Day 4 Elves

Robin
74.Robin.jpg

Maxed skill: street art
Level 2 career: Criminal
Building/property: Newton Cemetery
Moved out: W7D1
New home: 71 Rachelle Lane (Jeannie Butcher – EA clone)

Snow
75.Snow.jpg

Maxed skill: street art
Level 2 career: Medicine
Building/property: Adventure Landing
Moved out: W7D2
New home: 70 Rachelle Lane (Spring Farringdon – EA clone)

Eve
76.Eve.jpg

Maxed skill: street art
Level 2 career: Sculptor
Building/property: Appaloosa Plains Public Library
Moved out: W7D2
New home: 73 Rachelle Lane (Sports, Spice & Everything Nice)

Rudolph
77.Rudolph.jpg

Maxed skill: street art
Level 2 career: Business
Building/property: Hueber Associates & Kim Gould's Steakhouse
Moved out: W7D2
New home: 301 Sweetapple Ridge Way (Singleton)

Edit: I forgot to include the portraits (and these are actually halfway decent).

78.Portraits.jpg
79.Portraits.jpg

Rudolph's antlers are by Claeric, from Mod the Sims.

Offline hazelnut

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Re: The Reproductive Days of Christmas
« Reply #17 on: January 01, 2018, 08:10:53 AM »
Jingle Bell Rock

With the house empty again, it was back to business as usual, with another set of triplets.  Both parents had wished for boys, so Mary went on the Fruit Diet for the first time.

80.First_of3.jpg

Requirements for Reproductive Day 5 (W7D4)

Maxed career: Lifeguard for both
Skill challenges: Celebrity and Personable for both
Unique Lifetime Rewards: Eye Candy (Mary) and Strong Stomach (FC)
Unique best friends: Cruz Martingale (FC) and Sofia Martingale (Mary)
Collection: flowers, 4 picked by Mary and 1 by Father Christmas.  Total value §393.

81.Flowers.jpg

RD5 family photo:

82.RD5photo.jpg
That's Jingle being held by his parents.  Satsuma, Sugar Plum, Panto and Nutcracker are standing in front, with Sprout kneeling.

Father Christmas and Mary took up street art.  You'd have thought they'd have had enough of it with all of the kids 'decorating' the place.

83.Street_art.jpg

Little Jingle showed an early enthusiasm for music.  As soon as he'd grown up enough to play a real instrument, he persuaded Sugar Plum and Nutcracker to form a band.

84.Band.jpg

Of course, they had to wait until after the triplets' next birthday to make it official – and when the other two discovered that he'd named the band 'Jingle and the Bells', they rather lost interest.  Well, what did they expect from a diva with star quality?  Of course it was all about him!  Nutcracker went off to join the army (there are plenty of military bands, after all) and Sugar Plum, determined to prove that she, as the only bona fide virtuoso, could do better on her own, retreated to the subway to play for tips.

Sprout, who was growing up to be adorably nerdy, pretty much lived in the library.

85.Sprout_library.jpg

Panto became a magician (professional name Panto Not-a-Mime).  He wasn't very good at it.

86.Panto.jpg

Satsuma found her parents' old drawing board and took up architectural design, while Jingle, deserted by his bandmates, joined the music career.  He was the last of the six to complete his moving-out requirements, and was delayed even more when it proved that Hetty Lionheart, his chosen victim best friend, couldn't be evicted because she had pets up for adoption.  Fortunately, Jingle, amongst his other excellent qualities, was a cat person and was happy to adopt a pair of feline friends.

87.Jingle_cats.jpg

They caused a certain amount of chaos, given that Jingle's small siblings were arriving at the same time, but eventually all of the pathing issues were sorted out and Jingle, Gift and Present were able to move into their new home (or back into their old home, in the case of the cats).

88.Jingle_move.jpg



Reproductive Day 5 Elves

Panto
89.Panto.jpg

90.Panto.jpg91.Panto.jpg

I had fun with Panto's outfits – and even spent some of his happiness points on social group influence, purely so that he could acquire the insane trait and wear them all randomly.  Like this:

92.Panto.jpg

Maxed skill: street art
Level 2 career: Magician
Building/property: The Watering Hole Saloon
Moved out: W8D1
New home: 205 West Appaloosa Avenue (Curley)

Satsuma
93.Satsuma.jpg

Maxed skill: street art
Level 2 career: Architectural Designer
Building/property: JRA International Equestrian Centre
Moved out: W8D1
New home: 1936 Beach Boulevard (Dixie Carmichael - EA clone)

Sugar Plum
94.Sugar Plum.jpg

Maxed skill: street art
Level 2 career: Band
Building/property: Mick's Master Karaoke
Moved out: W8D2
New home: 303 Sweetapple Ridge Way (Pelly)

Nutcracker
95.Nutcracker.jpg

Maxed skill: street art
Level 2 career: Military
Building/property: Swole on Fitness
Moved out: W8D3
New home: 1004 Pomona Promenade (Ellis Hancock – EA clone)

Jingle
96.Jingle.jpg

Maxed skill: street art
Level 2 career: Music
Building/property: Varg's Tavern
Moved out: W8D4
New home: 6 Floodplain Lane (Lionheart)

Sprout
97.Sprout.jpg

Maxed skill: street art
Level 2 career: Video Game Designer
Building/property: Wolfson's Hospital and Research Facility
Moved out: W8D3
New home: 72 Rachelle Lane (Chandra)

I thought for a while that Sprout was going to be stuck in the household for some time, since he narrowly missed his promotion and was about to have several days off, followed by anther one because of Leisure Day.  Fortunately, his boss was susceptible to persuasion.

The portraits:

98.Portraits.jpg
99.Portraits.jpg

Offline hazelnut

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Re: The Reproductive Days of Christmas
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2018, 01:07:23 PM »
Christmas is All Around

Since I was a little preoccupied by Jingle's frustrated attempts to move out, Mary and FC were left on their own during Mary's sixth labour and she chose to have the babies in hospital.  As I wasn't watching, I'm not sure whether the father was there for the birth or just stood outside playing on his mobile phone for the whole time.  Given Mary's look of disgust, I suspect the latter.

101.Last_births.jpg

Requirements for Reproductive Day 6 (W8D4)

Maxed career: Painter for both
Skill challenges: Master Muralist for both; Master Planter for Father Christmas and Super Friendly for Mary.
Unique Lifetime Rewards: Complimentary Entertainment (FC) and Discount Diner (Mary).
Unique best friends: Calvin Riffin (FC) and Shawnee Fox (Mary).
Collection: street art: 3 murals by Mary and 2 by FC.  Total value §2 (I'm a little disappointed it wasn't zero).

100.Street_art.jpg

They arrived home, picking their way around the cats, and unpacked the basket.

102.Unpacking.jpg

The usual chaos of birthday cakes and clone voucher redemption followed, before everyone posed for the final Reproductive Day photo.

103.RD6photo.jpg
Children from left to right: Gingerbread, Chestnut, Eggnog, Garland, Candy Cane and Trifle.

Perhaps because their parents were doing nothing in particular, the elves seemed to grow up even faster than usual.



Reproductive Day 6 Elves

Chestnut
104.Chestnut.jpg

Maxed skill: handiness (not street art!)
Level 2 career: firefighter.  (No roasting on an open fire for him.)
Building/property: (none left)
Moved out: W8D6
New home: 1005 Pomona Promenade (Tiffanie McFadden - EA clone)

Candy Cane
105.Candy.jpg

Maxed skill: street art
Level 2 career: lifeguard
Moved out: W8D6
New home: 1935 Beach Boulevard (Riffin)

Garland
106.Garland.jpg

Maxed skill: painting
Level 2 career: stylist
Moved out: W8D7
New home: 37 Eucalyptus Drive (Fox)

Gingerbread
107.Gingerbread.jpg

Maxed skill: street art
Level 2 career: ghost hunter
Moved out: W9D1
New home: 190 Horseshoe Loop (Martingale)

Trifle
108.Trifle.jpg

Maxed skill: street art
Level 2 career: sports agent
Moved out: W9D2
New home: 1011 Pomona Promenade (Miller)

Eggnog
109.Eggnog.jpg

Maxed skill: street art
Level 2 career: politics

Eggnog should have been able to move out just after Trifle, since she completed her requirements just an hour later.  Unfortunately, Layla Naquin, the EA clone who had moved into Vera Blackburn's house (had Vera died of old age?) proved remarkably hard to track down.  She kept leaving home, visiting a community lot for a few minutes and then going home again, while Eggnog trailed around town after her.  Finally, shortly before midnight, Eggnog caught up with her and threw a Jar of Potent Friendship.

110.Best_friend.jpg

And, at 12:05am on day 3 of week 9, the final house was occupied by a Christmas elf.

The portraits:

111.Portraits1.jpg
112.Portraits.jpg
113.Portraits.jpg



The phantom drumkit strikes again!

114.Phantom_drumkit.jpg

Nutcracker's drums had disappeared while I was trying to delete them but Father Christmas tracked them down.  He and Mary spent most of their time gardening or dancing with the sunflowers during this period and also learned the last compositions to become masters of their instruments – I'd been holding them in reserve but it turned out they weren't needed to finish the challenge.

Offline KRae

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Re: The Reproductive Days of Christmas: Christmas is All Around
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2018, 06:38:30 PM »
Well, that was fast. Was it difficult accumulating the LTH points to buy all those clone vouchers?

Offline Sarabi

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Re: The Reproductive Days of Christmas: Christmas is All Around
« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2018, 07:26:55 PM »
Wow!  Great run - congrats.

Offline hazelnut

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Re: The Reproductive Days of Christmas: Christmas is All Around
« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2018, 05:52:36 AM »
Well, that was fast.
Wow!  Great run - congrats.

Thank you :D.  I didn't expect to finish so quickly, particularly after messing up in the middle.  In fact, it only occurred to me just before the arrival of the sixth set of babies that they would be the last.  I was about to start the parents on a new set of requirements :-\.

Of course, it's only since finishing that I've realised I could probably have knocked off a few days by using Age of Instant as well as birthday cakes.  Oh well.  I wasn't supposed to be being madly competitive anyway...

Was it difficult accumulating the LTH points to buy all those clone vouchers?

No - I was surprised how easy it was to earn enough happiness points and money to complete the challenge.  Even though I kept forgetting to give them wish-enhancing serum before Reproductive Days, Mary ended the game with over 115,000 unspent points and Father Christmas had over 150,000.  As for the money, they had over 2 million spare Simoleons.  Genie lamps make accumulating wealth so easy it almost feels like cheating.

The big problem I ran into was equally unexpected: all of those EA clones filling the empty houses.  A couple of times early on, I kicked out a townie family but there were no empty houses on the map when the elf tried to move out.  I thought the game had somehow failed to delete the Sims completely in Edit Town, so went back to the save immediately before the move and tried again.  When it happened for the third time, I went into Edit Town again and found that the game had generated a random Sim and moved them into the house before my Sim could get their phone out.  It didn't seem reasonable to have to go through the whole befriending bit again, so I just kicked out the clone.

I found that getting the kids to quit their jobs before moving helped to reduce the problem - several of them turned up later as co-workers or operating cash registers.  It still took poor Sugar Plum five attempts to move into her new house, though.  It was weird - she was standing right outside the door and I could see the new Sims appearing as the game restarted.

I've just gone back into the game and checked the population with Master Controller.  It lists 119 service Sims and 67 homeless, which seems ridiculously excessive  ???.

Offline hazelnut

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Re: The Reproductive Days of Christmas
« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2018, 12:38:38 PM »
Let It Snow

And so the snowflake was completed.

115.Snowflake.jpg

Mary and Father Christmas made their way down the spiral staircase that had suddenly appeared in the back garden and sat in the chairs (thrones?) in front of their portraits in the opposite point of the snowflake.

They'd done it – and well within the time limit.

116.Winpose.jpg

"Ermmm… so now what?"

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"Good question!"

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"Hi, Mary. "
"Oh!  My wings!"
"We both noticed how much it hurt you to lose them.  But you never complained.  Unlike somebody else I could mention."
"Um… Anyway, I know what I want to do next – call a meeting with the Lapland Elves' Negotiating Committee.  I think they might be pleased with my proposals."
"Oh?"

119.Grim_FC.jpg

"Um… yes, well… I've realised they're… er… right.  They are entitled to better working conditions.  The kids and I can take up the slack."



"Very well, a 5% pay rise as well as the extra holidays and the pension scheme…"

120.Negotiations.jpg

121.Workshop.jpg

"…And then my sons Noel and Sprout have a number of ideas for toys and games that they'd like to show your experts…

122.New_toys.jpg

"Rudolph wants to set up an exchange programme.  He'd like to learn reindeer herding – and improve your business model while he's at it.  And, I'm sorry, but Mince Pie and Trifle say your publicity's way out of date…"

123.Presentation.jpg



"Mary, I've brought some friends to visit you."
"Oh!  Deirdra, thank you!"

124.Visit.jpg

"I've just had the most wonderful idea!  Why don't I set up a holiday home for tree fairies?  If you and your friends could sneak them out, that is.  As long as we avoided the Christmas period, no-one would ever notice they were missing.   We could easily add another couple of fairy houses – and we're not using the castle any more."

125.Fairyplan.jpg

"But, you know what?  I think I've grown out of standing on treetops.

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"I'd feel trapped.  There are so many other things I want to learn and do."

127.Trapped.jpg

"I know what you mean.  How did I ever cope with being stuck in that lamp?"
"So it's time for a change.  Deirdra, do you think I could have one of your magical makeovers?"

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"Santa dear, what you really need is an equal partner.  Here I am… Mother Christmas."

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And the snow began to fall.

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133.Snow.jpg



Belated credits for the Reproductive Day family photos: cmomoney for Pose Player; traelia, spladoum, ForeverHailey and jessesue for the poses.

Offline Trip

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Re: The Reproductive Days of Christmas (COMPLETED)
« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2018, 11:57:44 AM »
Another story finished? You never fail to disappoint. ;) I'm moving this to the Completed Stories board.

Offline hazelnut

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Re: The Reproductive Days of Christmas (COMPLETED)
« Reply #24 on: January 16, 2018, 03:49:08 PM »
Was that supposed to be I always fail to disappoint?

Offline Trip

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Re: The Reproductive Days of Christmas (COMPLETED)
« Reply #25 on: January 17, 2018, 01:37:24 PM »
Was that supposed to be I always fail to disappoint?

Shoot, you're right. :P

Offline hazelnut

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Re: The Reproductive Days of Christmas (COMPLETED)
« Reply #26 on: January 18, 2018, 02:00:49 PM »
I did vaguely wonder whether you had something against completed stories... :-\

 

anything