Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a part of a commune, just living off the land? Or to lead a cult composed of people with ideas that just don't fit in with mainstream society? Have you ever thought about joining a group of people together just to see what you could come up with as a team? Then the Cult or Commune Challenge may be for you! You will recruit a group of people, develop your own customs, decide how to work together, develop your own code of dress, start up a collection of treasures, learn lots of skills, discover love, and have children to spread your ideas! Create your leader, gather your people, and you decide--cult or commune?
Disclaimer: This challenge may be offensive to some--if you find cults or certain cult leaders grossly offensive. I am very interested in psychology and sociology. I have spent a lot of time studying the sociological elements of cults, as I find the group and leader dynamics somewhat fascinating. I, however, am in no way condoning killing people. I don’t even kill sims, to be honest. So I am not promoting killing (or drug use)--only group dynamics and leadership towards the good or the bad life. If you choose to kill, that is your decision; but this challenge is not glorifying murder or anything of that nature--nor is it meant to glorify killers. The character I created was loosely based on the personality of Charles Manson, as I recently read his biography and found him to be an interesting character. It is also not meant to be degrading to women, in any way, as I firmly believe in equal rights. However, oftentimes, women are not treated equally and I have made this fact evident in the challenge--to stay realistic.
If you are still interested, please read on….
Your Leader: Start a new game file and create your own person or an infamous person who started their own commune or cult. (ie. Charles Manson, Jim Jones, David Koresh, etc.) Choose your traits wisely. Insane will allow you to share your conspiracy theories. Creative will allow you to share your ideas. Genius will allow you to share your ideas and inventions. You will need at least one of these traits to be able to hook people with your ideology or philosophies. You may make him or her look however you want. You may use custom content on the look of your sim.
Decide Cult or Commune: Will your leader be charming and alluring, yet domineering once people are in (cult)? Or will he be kind to the group members and help care for them (commune)? You may have a leader who contributes to the group (commune) or one who just bosses everyone around and has them do all the work for him (cult). Will he or she be kind or controlling? Decide in the beginning: basically nice or mean leader? Definitions to help: Cult:
a. a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.
b. a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols
c. a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader Commune:
a. a small group of persons living together, sharing possessions, work, income, etc., and often pursuing unconventional lifestyles.
b. a close-knit community of people who share common interests.
Aspiration: Friend of the World is a good aspiration to start with, because it will immediately have you introducing yourself to people and making friends, which is what you do when you start a commune or a cult. However, you may choose any aspiration that does not involve having a job; but try to choose one that will make sense for a cult or commune--such as big happy family or public enemy.
Properties: Buy an empty property in Newcrest. The smallest one on the very top is recommended, because it has a pond near it for fishing and has a lot of people walking around, as well as a little community park right beside it. It also has a small plot right beside it, which can later be used to expand your commune into a second household.
Whichever plot you choose, make sure you check it out first to make sure it will fit your needs of fishing and socializing--as you will not be able to move, until you make enough money to purchase a different lot. Also, you may not travel at first. You are isolated to the one neighborhood you choose. (Note: A neighborhood is the area you can view from your lot, the area you can walk around in without "traveling", or the area that "lights up" on the map view, when you hover over it with your mouse. It contains anywhere from two to five lots.)
You may place one or two other household lots in the neighborhood to be your neighbors. However, try to find houses that fit the era of your commune leader. Charles Manson would be the sixties; Jim Jones would be the seventies; David Koresh would be the eighties, etc. If you create your own leader, you may choose any decade you want.
Household Goods: Give your person a tent, fire pit (if you have Outdoor Retreat--otherwise, use the small grill), and one activity item. Charles Manson would have a guitar. David Koresh would probably have books. Jim Jones would probably choose a microphone. (Please note: You may not, however, make money from paintings or from writing yet. Too easy.)
You must earn your toilet and shower. For the first couple of days, you must use the toilet and shower at other lots. You are essentially a mooch.
Job: You may not have a traditional job. You are trying to get away from the enslavement of modern society. You also may not cheat, unless specifically directed to here.
Whims: You may fulfill whims that fit the challenge. Any whim not fitting within the rules of the challenge must be quickly banished (click the “x”--if only it were this easy in real life, huh?) Mind over matter.
Lifespan: You may wish to set your lifespan on long, because this could take a while.
Rules and Guidelines for Recruitment:
After day one, you will begin talking to sims passing by. You will try to find young, single females (or single male, if your leader is a woman) to begin your commune. If you find an irresistible attached person, you may ask them to move in. But try to go for the single, young adult or teen females (or males). They are the most vulnerable and naive--especially in earlier decades.
You must get people to move in with you, without calling them on the phone. So you will need to do it upon first encounter, or when you happen to encounter the same person again. You may not call them on the phone to invite them over. You may not even use your phone, before the nineties (with the exception of people feigning for video games, which you will pretend is a handheld game). If they reject your offer, you are offended with them or you are embarrassed (depending on personality of your leader) and will never ask again. So be careful. (Don’t be alarmed: It is actually not difficult, at all, to get someone to move in with you.)
As people move in, assign them roles according to their traits--the gardener, the fisherwoman or man, the entertainer, the cook, the collector, etc. to support the family. You MUST live off the land--plants, minerals, rocks, crystals, fish, and treasures you dig up. You cannot earn money through painting or writing, because it is unrealistically too much money. You are just trying to survive and enjoy nature and each other. It is not required that only one person cook or gather, etc.; but this should be their main job. Some people may have to have more than one main job or sometimes help others with their job, if they have nothing else to do.
Collection: You should choose one collection to keep on the lot--either the statue dolls, or the rocks, or crystals, or one copy of all of them, if you’re feeling extra ambitious! But start up at least one collection for your family. I have started to collect the statues we dig up.
The First Week:
Buy your lot and your few allowed possessions--tent (or bed), fire pit (or grill), and one activity item.
Set money to 0
Spend some time contemplating and developing your skill with the skill object you chose or reading your books. You may fish, if you want. You may not talk excessively to anyone. You are alone and a stranger. Feel the solitude today. This is the day your leader feels lonely and decides he wants to create something bigger than himself.
Try to get one person to move in with you. Try to find a person who is a bit eccentric or who is creative, childish. You are limited to one person per day to move in.
Try to develop some more skills--such as fishing, guitar, or painting. Remember, you can paint, but not sell. Painting and writing are strictly hobbies. Writing on a computer doesn’t even start until the eighties; but you cannot sell books yet either. You are literally living off the land.
Try to collect some things--plants, frogs, and/or treasure to sell.
Note: You can choose to write and sell songs, since this venture, for some reason, is very limited in the game. I believe you can only publish one song per week.
You are now allowed to begin purchasing bathroom items for your lot--hopefully you have saved up some money.
Acquire a second tent, if you can.
Continue building your skills.
Plant and begin tending a garden for food and funds.
You may pursue another female, once you have a second tent.
Begin singing or telling stories around the campfire and form your group’s nightly rituals.
Generally, daytime should be for working and gathering and nighttime for enjoyment, hobbies, and relaxation. It is no easy feat living off the land and escaping mainstream society and jobs.
You may purchase things like outdoor seating, picnic table, mood-inspiring objects, or an outdoor grill, as you have the funds--but NOT activity, skill-building, or fun items just yet. Only comfort, hunger, and hygiene items at this point. Remember, whatever you buy should make sense for the outdoors. There are several things you can do for fun with the items you are allowed and each other.
Pursue another female (or male).
You may have your leader have romantic relationships with the members, but you don’t have to. You may have group members visit other lots, but only within the neighborhood. If your leader is very controlling, female members cannot leave the lot without a male escort.
Keep fishing, collecting, planting, etc. to make sure you have everything you need. Don’t forget to start up your collection (see above).
You may add and visit a community lot to your neighborhood--such as a bar or a park. Try to stay within the theme of the era you are living in. You will probably have to make it yourself or at least modify it. Also, remember you are living in the boonies--whatever you build should not be extravagant.
Don’t forget to flatter your members, to keep them hanging on your every word. Also, make sure you fill their heads with plenty of your ideas and/or conspiracies.
You may now have one of the females pursue a male--using her good looks and charm. I mean, what else could convince someone to move out into the wilderness with a bunch of crazy people? Bring him to your leader or your leader to him to make sure he approves and gets along with him, before inviting him to move in.
Goals and Beliefs:
You should begin thinking about what type of commune you are building, based on the traits and aspirations of the people you have gathered. Will you be a peace, joy and love type of commune, which only does good? Or will you be an evil clan that destroys others and makes tons of enemies? Or somewhere in between--with both types trying to live together?
Begin to set your own parameters for your group: What are your beliefs? What are your goals? What are your rules? Write them down. Do you want to raise children with the ideology which you hold true? Do you want to befriend the community and do good deeds? What do you want to achieve? Use the members’ aspirations as a guide. Remember, those closest to the leader will have the most leverage, when it comes to setting goals. For example, if the one closest to him desires a mansion, then this goal holds more weight with the leader.
Your male members may never usurp the authority of your original leader, unless he dies. He may have relations with the same women, but he is never above the leader. He must obey the leader, especially if the leader is domineering. The males become his henchmen and help keep the women in line.
You may have a female pursue another male today. Don’t forget to see how he interacts with your leader, before moving him in. After six members, you will begin to add more slowly--one per week (assuming you have room). Try focusing on getting everyone friendly with each other. Or, if you prefer, you can have confrontations between certain individuals. Your sims may pair off as couples or, if you think you can get away with it, get very friendly with any or all.
If everything is going fine, you may begin trying for a baby, if you wish. It doesn’t really matter which couple pairs off--everyone is fair game. Just remember, you may want to mate your leader--he may want to have an heir to continue on the commune or, if he is domineering and selfish, he may select another child and take him as his own. When children are born into cults or communes, they are often considered the child of all members equally.
Set your trademark dress code: Example-all of my members must wear sandals or flip-flops. This is all I have for now, but Charlie may come up with another rule at any time. (Hint: You can change clothes in the tent.)
On Saturdays: You may add another community lot and take a group outing outside of the neighborhood. Be careful what you spend on your day out! Shopping day is tomorrow! (You may visit any of the lots inside your little neighborhood at any time, but Saturdays are reserved for leaving the neighborhood.)
You may add one more member to the group each week (assuming you have the space).
On Sundays: You may purchase one more money-making item, one more skill-building item, and add an additional room, as funds permit. Building a pool would be considered a skill-building item. If you don’t have the funds, you will need to save up for next Sunday. I like to visit one of the stores in Magnolia Promenade to pretend we are shopping and also to interact with other people.
Keep in mind that the group members are building the house themselves. It should not look the Hilton. It should look like a cabin. You are out in the country or wilderness. Don’t forget to stay within the era.
Some people are just not cut out for this kind of life--such as ambitious people, who really desire to have a job. If you decide someone doesn’t fit the group or if they get too unhappy and/or make others unhappy, or get disrespectful with the leader, you may decide to kick them out or they may decide to quit and run off. Then you will have room to replace them; but you will also lose everything you have invested in them. So choose wisely. Don’t forget to leave some room for children.
Note: If anyone fills more than half of the red "bad relationship" bar with your leader, they must leave. They may choose to take others with them--depending on their relationship with them.
After the firstborn becomes a teen, you may advance ten years. After they become a young adult, you may advance another ten years. Therefore, this may allow for additional objects you have not had before--such as a better TV or possibly a computer. But you still may not call people to invite them over to ask them to join, although you may use your phone to socialize.
For every generation born, you may expand out to another "neighborhood" within the world you are living (Newcrest). (It just occurred to me, this would have been an awesome challenge for the desert world. However, it would need to be cleared out first.)
Once you have a child, you may begin raising them up to be an artist, in order to spread the ideologies you have created within your group. You may choose one type of artist (painter, writer, or musician) per generation, in any order. All of the adults help raise the kid.
Painters must have:
Completed the creativity aspiration, as a child
Have a parent who has maxed the painting skill by the time the kid (2nd gen painter) becomes a young adult. They have been instructed and taught by their parent, but they will go above and beyond their parents, by selling their work.
Must have the creativity and art lover traits.
Before you begin selling paintings, you must decide what your style will be and it must match the style of the group. So, if you are mushroom-eating psychedelics, probably the surreal style would best suit you.
You must give every painting a name that centers around the philosophy of the group. You are trying to spread the word.
You may only paint one painting per day (real painting usually take weeks or months) and it must be small or medium.
You must paint at least 20 paintings within the appropriate style to complete this goal.
The writer must:
Complete the Knowledge aspiration, as a child
Must also be read to, as a child, almost everyday.
They must visit a library a few times, while growing up--at least once as a child and once as a teen.
They must have the creativity trait.
You must self-publish your first five books.
You may publish up to two books per week.
You must name each book you write after the ideology of your clan. So, if my ideology is living off the land, I may write a book called "How to Beat the Street and Live in the Heat" (yes, I realize this is lame...lol)--or whatever. Be creative! Or if your group believes in aliens, it may be called “UFOs Among Us”.
You must publish at least 10 books to complete this goal.
The musician must:
Complete the motor aspiration as a child.
Must have a radio to listen to, as soon as they age up.
Must have a parent who has maxed out an instrument, by the time the kids ages to young adult.
Must spend time around the campfire, singing with their parents. If you don't have the campfire, have their parent mentor them in instrument.
They must have the Music Lover trait.
You must name each song after the beliefs of your group.
You may publish up to one song per week.
You must publish at least 5 songs to complete this goal.
If you wish, you may expand your commune to a second household, after you have purchased everything you feel you need for the first lot. You will need to designate the second household's sub-leader--someone who is in charge, when your leader is not there. You may rotate, switching between households, if you want and also visit each other, throw parties together, etc. You may move people between the households, as you see fit.
Completing the Challenge:
The challenge can be successfully completed, after you raise all three artists--one per generation--and complete the other goals you have set for your group, based on your aspirations--such as build a house, raise children together, throw great parties, become friends of the world, public enemy, or after completing everyone’s aspirations--or the possible ones, without having jobs. You set your own goals.
Stories and sharing:
You may elaborate your story however you want; and I encourage sharing your progress on the challenge here and anywhere you want. I would love to see them!
The Rules (Review):
No cheating--unless it’s to reset a glitch or something of that nature. Absolutely no money or need cheating.
You must begin with a tent (or one bed), fire pit (or grill), and one activity item and wait until Day 3 to buy bathroom items.
You cannot have a traditional job and none of your members can get traditional jobs.
You must get people to move in with you, without calling them on the phone.
You MUST live off the land--plants, minerals, rocks, crystals, fish, and treasures you dig up. You cannot earn money through painting or writing, at first, because it is unrealistically too much money. And there are limits to how often you can sell in later generations.
You may, however, earn money through writing songs with a guitar or violin. (Or a piano, once you make a house.)
Set your money to 0 after buying your lot, your tent, your fire pit, and your activity item.
Try your best to stay within what is realistic for the era you are living in.
You must have at least three females, before you can begin inviting males. (Or vice-versa, if you choose to have a female leader.)
You must wait until each weekend to add additional community lots, skill-building, or fun items. (Up to one of each, per weekend.)
There are many requirements for raising artists. Please review lists above.
For a shorter version of the challenge, you may raise each of the artist children at the same time and buy items whenever you get the money.