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The Legacy Challenge
The Legacy Challenge is a classic Sims play challenge. Why not try it?
A Legacy Challenge is a ten-generation challenge: You start out with a single founder of very humble origins and play through ten generations while trying to achieve fame and fortune for your family.
The original Challenge idea what invented by a player named Pinstar during the days of The Sims 2. Pinstar has a blog (not updated in quite some time) on Wordpress[pinstar.wordpress.com], if you'd like to see some of their writings about it.
The Basic Challenge
Start a New Family in a Fresh Neighborhood
For the duration of the Challenge, you're supposed to only play the family you've chosen within the neighborhood you've set aside for the Legacy: You can't play any other Sims in that neighborhood.
When you create your new family, it will be a single Sim only. They can be male or female, and of any age which can have children (so Young Adult or Adult for female Sims and Young Adult, Adult, or Elder for male Sims). You have to create your Sim from scratch, though -- you can't use pre-made Sims or Sims someone else has created. The good news is that, with your Founder, you can choose their traits and favorites.
This first lonely Sim is your Legacy's Founder -- they and their eventual mate will be Generation One for your family.
Select a Lot to Live On
The first step is to move your Sim onto an empty lot in the fresh neighborhood. The lot must cost at least §14,700. This usually means it will be a very large lot (so much the better!), but also that your Sim will have very little in the way of starting funds left -- they're going to be very, very poor in the beginning and living a bit hand to mouth.
Note: A lot of the neighborhoods added later do not have a large lot that costs this much money. For example, the largest, most expensive empty lot I can find in Hidden Springs costs §8,192. Since the goal is for your Sim to start out poor -- with a scant §1,300 in funds -- it's likely acceptable to buy the largest lot possible, then spend the Sim down to that §1,300 by buying useless landscaping objects like rocks and trees. Another alternative is to buy the largest lot possible, then set family funds using the cheat, familyfunds <surname> 1300 (Note! Sometimes you may need to turn on testing cheats before doing this. Use: testingCheatsEnabled true)
Pick a lot you really like, because your whole ten generations will be on that lot.
And the Legacy Begins
From here, you just play your Sim and their family, but there are certain rules that have to be followed for who can marry whom, who can live on the lot, and so on.
Your Founder (and subsequent Heirs) need to find a mate. This mate should be a Sim they meet in town -- they can't be created by you or downloaded from anywhere. (Note that, for the Founder only, they are also not supposed to choose any Sim they identify as Rich.)
Your Founder (and Heirs) need to have children. Only biological children of your Sim can be Heirs to the Legacy, so while your Founder (and Heirs) can adopt children, those children are ineligible to become the Heir. When choosing traits for children, you must use the "Random" option -- you roll the dice and you take what you get (which can make for some really odd and interesting Heirs!).
When the eldest child becomes a Young Adult, it's time to choose the Heir. The Heir may be any of the biological children of the Founder (or current Heir). This Heir will then carry on the Legacy, and all the rules above for finding mates, having kids, and so on will also apply to them. After choosing the Heir, all their siblings must move out as soon as is possible. The Heir stays in the house and continues the Legacy.
The same restrictions apply to an Heir as they do the Founder. That is, the Heir must choose a local for their mate, and can only select their Heir from among their biological children.
Rules for Life in the Legacy Home
Because Sims can be unpredictable, the Legacy Challenge can also be unpredictable and problems can arise. A few simple rules can guide you through most problems, however. There's a method to the madness, in most cases.
Lifespan has to be the "default" lifespan for the game. Aging must be on, of course. Sims may only "age up" using a birthday cake once the game gives the one-day reminder for the birthday (but waiting until the game ages up the Sim is also acceptable).
Within the direct line of Founder and Heirs, Sim lives cannot be prolonged in any way -- no Science Lab resurrection, no eating of Ambrosia, no Death Flowers in inventory, and no eating of Life Fruit.
Money, Moods, Mods, and Cheats
You cannot use any cheats or mods which affect your Sims' funds, needs, or moods for the duration of the Challenge. Custom objects can be used, so long as their price and mood affects are normal in comparison to standard Sims 3 items.
Mates and Children
Children have to be born to Sims living in the Legacy Home. If your Founder or Heir is male, their mate must move into the family home before their children are born for those children to be part of the Legacy. For female Founders and Heirs, this is not required. Note that the Founder's/Heir's mate is not considered to be part of the family for the purposes of scoring until their child is born into the family line.
If a chosen Heir dies, choose another Heir from among their eligible siblings still living in the home and continue playing normally. If there isn't another eligible sibling, then your Legacy is over at that point. So sad!
Life After Death
Ghosts may be kept on the lot or urns and headstones may be moved to the Cemetery, as you like. However, ghosts never earn any points for you in the Challenge.
Legacies score points as they go. Here is how:
Each Generation: 1 point
Starting with your Founder (Generation One), you get one point for each generation in the Legacy, up to a total of ten points.
Each Unique Lifetime Wish Fulfilled: 1 point
Each household member who fulfills a lifetime wish which has not already been achieved by another family member earns you one point.
Each Portrait on Display: 1 point
Each portrait of a family member painted and kept on display in the Legacy Home is worth 1 point. Note that the family member does not have to remain living in the house for the point to be earned, but they must be a Young Adult or Adult when the portrait is painted for it to count.
Each §100,000 Value of Family Home: 1 point
For each §100,000 value of the Family Home (plus any cash on hand), you earn 1 point, up to a maximum of 20 points. (You can see the furnished value of the home by entering Build Mode.)
Each 10,000 Lifetime Happiness Points Earned by a Family Member: 1 point
You gain 1 point each time a family member living in the family house earns 10,000 Lifetime Happiness Points. It doesn't matter if the points are spent -- it's the earning that counts. Remember that mates of Founders and Heirs are not eligible for this until they have a child in the family line.
Each Family Member Who Earns 200,000 Lifetime Happiness Points Total: 1 point
If, during their life, a family member who lives in the family home earns a total of 200,000 Lifetime Happiness Points, you earn 1 point.
Twists and Turns
There are a number of variations you can add to your Challenge to make it more difficult or fun. Here are some of my favorites:
Each generation of the family should have names that start with the next letter of the alphabet after the previous generation's names. That is, if your Founder is named Karl, then the second generation's names should start with L, the third with M, the fourth with N, and so on.
The Family Trait
When creating the Founder, choose one of their traits to be come the "Family Trait". Thereafter, though you must normally randomize a child's traits, you may add this one to their traits at any opportunity.
In a Genacy, the number of children in each generation reflects the number of the generation -- so the first generation will have one child; the second generation should have two, the third generation three, and so on. (Note that this gets limited in unmodified games by the limit of eight Sims per household. Those who want to go all-out with this may consider mods which allow the household size to be "overstuffed", such as NRaas StoryProgression[nraas.wikispaces.com].)
Create a hideously ugly Founder and see if you can, in ten generations, create a beautiful Heir. Or start with a beautiful Sim and see if you can breed a horribly ugly one in ten generations.
The Matriarchy or Patriarchy
You may add the rule that all heirs must be of the same sex as the Founder.
Once you move your Founder onto the family lot, they must spend all their money (down to remaining funds of §100) on landscaping. For the duration of the Legacy, any Sim living in the household may have, at best, a part-time job (no "real" careers). Theft is also disallowed.
Your Founder and Heirs must choose as their mate the first eligible Sim of the opposite sex who walks onto their Family lot.
So what do you do with a Legacy Family?
Some people just enjoy the challenge of it all, but others build elaborate stories around their Legacy Families. If you start a Legacy, consider taking a lot of screenshots and making notes as you go so you can document your Legacy Challenge.
You can document it through your Steam screenshots, through a forum post, or through a blog, or any other way that's fun or interesting to you.
Finally, check out the Legacy Blog[www.simslegacychallenge.com] -- some Legacies are detailed there, and they list other fun challenges to try as well.