Saturday, January 24, 2009

University - Pennington, Roper & Chovie

This session was a continuation of Skip Roper's Challenge. We last saw Skip in Roper - A Growing Family which covered the early part of the challenge. At the end, he was ready to head off to college and only had three objectives left to fulfill: Go to College, Join a Greek House, and Graduate Summa Cum Laude. Two other teens in the neighborhood, Brandon Pennington and Ann Chovie, were ready to go to college as well so I sent them along with him. You can read about Brandon's story to date in Pennington - Introduction and Backstory, and a little bit about Ann in Chovie - Introduction. Here's a quick re-introduction to all of them:

MiniPortrait-Skip-Teen.jpgSkip Roper
Aspiration: Knowledge
LTW: Max out 7 Skills
Personality: Virgo - 9 Neat, 1 Outgoing, 9 Active, 1 Playful, 5 Nice
Turn Ons: Makeup, Red Hair; Turn Off: Hard Worker
Hobby: Science

MiniPortrait-Brandon-Teen.jpgBrandon Pennington the Warlock
Aspiration: Popularity/Knowledge
LTW: Have 20 Simultaneous Pet Best Friends
Personality: Aries - 9 Neat, 10 Outgoing, 6 Active, 4 Playful, 6 Nice
Turn Ons: Fatness, Fitness ; Turn Off: Formal Wear
Hobby: Fitness

MiniPortrait-Ann-Teen.jpgAnn Chovie
Aspiration: Fortune
LTW: Become Space Pirate
Personality: Aquarius - 4 Neat, 6 Outgoing, 3 Active, 6 Playful, 6 Nice
Turn Ons: Underwear, Blond Hair ; Turn Off: Creative
Hobby: Cuisine

Brandon was the first to arrive at University, and the only one to get the full cinematic for it since I'd sent them all via the menu in the University menu instead of using the phone on their home lots so they'd all be grouped in a single household. Interestingly enough, he was dropped off not by his mother, Arlina, but by his father, Jihoon Hsu, whom he's never lived with, though they are BFFs and had a high current relationship, so maybe that had something to do with why the game chose Jihoon instead of Arlina.

He grew up well, but his appearance didn't really change much, and of course he stayed in the default warlock clothing.

Ann was the next to arrive. She came alone in a taxi and grew up once she'd gotten out

The outfit was one of the first things I changed for her, which you'll see in a moment.

Skip arrived last, alone in a taxi like Ann had been. He grew up well, though it didn't improve his somewhat deformed cheeks much. In fact, I think it made them worse. He also got new clothing as soon as was possible.

They all moved into one of the dorms on the Sim State University campus so they'd have a chance to meet people and save up the funds to get their own house so they could start their own Greek House on campus. As I usually do, I wanted to choose majors for them right away, but Ann was the only one with a career related LTW to guide the choice of major, so I had her declare first. She chose Literature to help her prepare for the Adventurer career once she graduated. The others I decided to wait until they rolled a want for something before I had them declare.

Since Skip and Brandon hadn't yet rolled any wants for a particular major, I decided the next order of business was to get Ann and Skip into some better clothing, so I sent them down to one of the clothing stores on campus. Ann got a makeover as well, and wasn't very happy with my choices.

Skip was happier about his new duds.

They also met Ralph Okuma, a member of the Secret Society while at the store. You can kind of see him behind Ann in the last picture. Once they returned back to the dorm, they discovered that he was living there as well, as were several other members of the Secret Society (though I didn't realize that until later). Upon returning, Skip also soon rolled a want to major in Mathematics, so that's what I had him declare as.

Their first semester passed rather uneventfully after that. They worked on their grades, and on making friends with the others in the dorm. Though it wasn't specifically part of the challenge, I'd decided I wanted to get him Big Sim on Campus status, as well as membership into the Secret Society, if for no other reason than I'd never done either before with a university sim. I set the same goals for Ann as well. At the end of the semester, Ann and Skip had their finals at the same time, so they arrived back at the dorm at the same time. As they were standing on the sidewalk together, ACR kicked in and they shared their first kiss together.

It turned into quite a makeout session for them, and was the beginning of a casual romance between them that continued through most of their time at college. They only had one bolt of attraction for each other, so I didn't really want to pair them up, but I let them have their little ACR induced fling as much as was convenient figuring it wouldn't hurt.

Brandon took awhile to come up with any wants for a major, not rolling one until well into the last semester of Freshman year, or maybe even the first semester of their Sophomore year. Eventually, though, he rolled up the want for Political Science.

I had him start working on writing novels to make some money for the group during this time, and it eventually got him enough Film & Literature enthusiasm to be given a membership to the secret lot. The lady that came to extend the invitation couldn't get in to see him, however, since I'd locked his dorm room door (I always lock their doors cause it drives me nuts having other dormies wandering in and using their stuff all the time).

Shortly after that, Skip had increased his Science enthusiasm enough by looking through the telescope out back, to receive a membership to that secret lot. Ann happened to be outside as well at the time working on her Creativity.

Again, life went on for them in the dorm relatively uneventfully. They continued to keep up with their skills and grades, and to make friends with their dormmates. Eventually Brandon managed to have his first kiss with one of the gals there. They didn't have any particular attraction between them, however, and it was pretty much a one time kiss for them, so I never bothered to take note of what her name was.

By the start of their second semester of Sophomore year between the money they got for their good grades, and Brandon's novel writing, they finally had saved up enough money to get the house I wanted for them to form a Greek House in and I was finally able to move them out of the dorm.

Almost immediately, ACR seized upon the new opportunities afforded by the double bed in one of the bedrooms upstairs and sent Ann and Skip up there to take their romance to the next level.

While Ann and Skip were busy upstairs, Brandon got on the phone to apply for a Greek charter for them. And thus the Ursa Major House was founded. They had so many friends between them already that the Greek House started out at top level.

Ann soon developed something of an obsession for painting, or rather, for gaining Creativity points. She kept rolling wants to get the next point every time she'd gain one. Before long she had gained enough Arts & Crafts enthusiasm to get her membership to the secret lot.

A few nights after they moved in, it happened. A big black limosine pulled up out front of the house and a blonde guy in a suit came in and put Skip in handcuffs and drug him off to be initiated into the Secret Society.

The next night, they came again, only this time it was to take Brandon away to their lair.

In the above picture, Allison and Viola become relevant to the story here later on. Annie does too in a way, but more on all of them later.

Last, but not least, a few nights later they came for Ann.

Life resumed for the three once all had been admitted to the Secret Society. Not too long after, Brandon had gained enough on his Lifetime Aspiration meter that he reached permaplat status. Yay, this means I don't have to do his LTW (not that I'd intended to anyway). The event that seems to have put him over the top was losing his virginity with Allison when he invited her over one night.

He was so taken with her, despite her being rather fashion challenged, that he proposed to her shortly after they got out of bed.

She was happy enough to say yes when he asked her, but she ended up getting a bad memory about getting engaged. Go figure.

He asked her to pledge to the Greek House, and in due course of time she became a member. After that happened, he asked her to move in, and she accepted.

A makeover for her was the first order of business after she moved in. I opted to skip buying her new clothing and just had her wear her Secret Society outfit for her everyday wear.

Here's a look at her stats:

Portrait-Allison-YA.jpgAllison Wilson
Aspiration: Popularity
LTW: Become General
Personality: Aries - 5 Neat, 8 Outgoing, 6 Active, 3 Playful, 3 Nice
Turn Ons: Fatness, Charismatic
Turn Off: Cologne
Hobby: Music & Dance

Since she had a career related LTW, I chose a major for her based on that instead of waiting for her to roll a want for one. She then got put on the fast track program via the College Adjuster to get her caught up to Brandon and the others on University Progress.

Ann continued to be obsessed with painting and gaining Creativity points, and eventually she'd maxed out her enthusiasm in Arts & Crafts and received her plaque.

This was followed by Skip receiving his membership to the Music & Dance lot (he'd been playing the piano and I'd just had him stop that and start studying Cleaning when the lady finally made it in to him), and then his plaque for max Science enthusiasm. He was too busy chugging hot chocolate trying to warm up from being outside so long looking through his telescope to pay much attention to the guy that came to give it to him however.

Once the season had turned to Spring and the snows seemed to have ended, I had Brandon and Ann start planting a garden out back. Brandon earned his silver Gardening badge in the process.

Skip had been getting to know Viola Reamon from the Secret Society in the meantime, and discovered that he had two bolts of attraction for her. So he asked her to pledge the Greek House, and once she'd hung around long enough to become a member, he asked her to move in.

Here's a look at her stats:

Portrait-Viola-YA.jpgViola Reamon
Aspiration: Family
LTW: Graduate 3 Children from College
Personality: Cancer - 6 Neat, 3 Outgoing, 6 Active, 4 Playful, 6 Nice
Turn Ons: Creative, Hats
Turn Off: Charismatic
Hobby: Tinkering

I didn't get a picture of it, but she rolled a want to major in Psychology, so that's what I chose for her. She also got put into the fast track College Adjuster program to get her caught up, especially since all of the others were into their Senior year by now.

Getting the garden set up also earned Brandon an invitation the Nature secret lot, though he wasn't interested enough about it to pay much attention to the lady that came to extend the invitation.

Since they were into their Senior year, I started thinking about how I was going to keep the Greek House going for future college kids from Challengeville, and I decided I'd use Annie Day from the Secret Society as a placeholder. Allison asked her to pledge, and she became a full member of the House in due time. I've rethought how I'll handle the transitions (more on that in a bit) but I might still use her, so I took a picture of her when she was over one night to give you all a better look at ther.

Ann helped Brandon keep the garden up, and eventually earned her bronze Gardening badge.

At some point I'd noticed that Brandon already had a lot of best friends, so I decided to try for his IW of having 30 best friends, mostly through having him talk on the phone to people a lot. It took him a bit to get ahold of a few of his friends to push them over into being best friends, but one morning he managed to get ahold of the final one he needed and his IW was fulfilled.

The garden continued to take up a lot of their time in between classes and friend making, with Ann and Brandon being the main ones that worked on keeping the weeds down. Eventually it earned Ann an invitation to the Nature secret lot, and Brandon his gold Gardening badge.

Skip helped out with the garden as well, though mostly I kept him busy working toward his LTW of maxing all skills to keep him busy until graduation when his challenge would be complete. I did give him enough breaks from the books to work on his relationship with Viola, however, and eventually he proposed to her. As a Family sim, this made her quite happy, and they even got a rousing cheer from the llama after she accepted Skip's proposal.

Shortly before their last semester was due to end, Allison managed to work up her Music & Dance enthusiasm enough to get an invitation to the secret lot. She really liked working out with the ballet barre.

As you can see in the background on that last picture, I had them paint portraits of each other along the way, though I prefer using the Still Life option instead of the Portrait one to do them. The picture doesn't show it very well, but Brandon's turned out kind of neat since I managed to catch him in a still frame of working at his cauldron when I had one of the others (I forget if Ann or Skip did the portrait) choose the Paint Still Life option on the easel to paint his picture. The others are mostly just posed against a wall for theirs....not so interesting. The intention is to have a portrait on the wall of every sim that ever lives in the Greek House.

Finally, after what seemed like forever, the time for their last final exams arrived and they were finally finished with college. They all graduated Summa Cum Laude, and Skip's challenge was officially completed.

Their other accomplishments included all of them being in the Secret Society (though Allison and Viola were already in it as townies), and all of them but Brandon were Big Sim on Campus. For some reason he never got the memory of it despite all of his many friends. I think the reason must have been that he already had 12 or more friends when he got to University so he didn't get the memory for it. Ann did meet a guy that I intend to pair her up with eventually. I put one of TwoJeff's Find me a Mate Crystal Ball objects in the house to be more expedient than the matchmaker for finding long term mates and Ann had a date with a guy named Jace Macarevich from that. They have two bolts for one another, but he's already an adult, so I left their romance on the back burner while she finished college. She'll catch up with Jace once she moves back to the neighborhood.

Viola had been several hours behind the rest of them for when her semester ended, so while I was waiting for her to finish, I decided to have them make a stab at getting a Wishing Well for the lot to help out future generations. They already had a fountain out front that one of them had gotten as a date gift from someone along the way, and I'd planted flowers around it and put out bushes along the front of the house, all of which were attended to by the gardener that day. I also had a pricy sculpture sitting in the yard out front, and some trees around, and had Brandon working away in the garden while the Club people were there. The weeds had gotten a bit out of hand over the last day or so, and a few of the plants were still drippy from several days worth of rain that they'd had earlier in the last semester, but enough were recovered that I hoped it would be good enough. I had Skip place the call, and greet the Club President when she arrived and request the inspection. While things went ok, they didn't manage to get the well, though Skip did get a membership to the Garden Club out of it.

I don't think any of the inspectors ever went around front to see all the flowers there, or the fountain and sculpture. If they did, they never commented on them, nor did they make any comments about all of the garden lights that were around the vegetable garden and orchard trees. Ah well, I'll try again when the next group of students is living here. I guess I'll have to put some more flowers and stuff out back where the garden is so they won't be as far away on the lot and the inspectors might take notice of them more. If anyone has any other suggestions for what would help, feel free to leave them in a comment on this post.

Here's one final look at our intrepid band of college students

I left them all on campus for the time being. I'll probably move Skip and Viola out either when the next group of students arrives or when I'd want to play them in the rotation of other lots, and possibly Ann as well. Brandon and Allison will probably stick around long enough to try to get the next group into the house, though if they run out of time I'll have them get Annie Day to move in as a placeholder to invite the other new kids. I belatedly realized that I probably should have had them get more pledges and members than they did, but ah well. This was my first time at running a Greek House that I'd created so I was bound to make a few mistakes I'm sure.

The next update might take awhile, as I still have to play the 'hood again to have more material for an update. The plan now is to do a Prosperity-style rotation through all of the households that have been included in the blog so far before I start on another challenge. After that, I'll alternate between doing a challenge and doing a rotation through the neighborhood to keep everyone aging and progressing until I've gotten all of the households that have been placed in the neighborhood incorporated into the rotation. I reserve the right to change my mind about this plan, however, depending on how it all goes. But for now, farewell, and I'll see you again in a week or few with an update on Arlina Pennington's house hopefully.