It seems I like playing nobles more than I expected, in the past I normally preferred poor families in tiny homes
These days it's a bad sign for my game that bigger estates pop up in most worlds. I also organized a system of Houses, you know the more formal and tad old fashioned routine where you belong to House of so-and-so. Well, my game has 100+ households and there are about 40-45 Houses, LOL. Recently I noticed that way too many of my sims seem to prefer the Polished dressing style, no wonder why...
I don't play royals, mainly because I don't quite see how I could play a full sized royal castle on rotation. Such big builds probably would deserve focus over several sim weeks, or to be the main household played. But I have 4 dukedoms and a few baronies, plus a bunch of lords and ladies by peerage. The dukedoms have rather spacious estates and a touch of royal "gold & damask", while for the other nobles I try to keep things down a bit when it comes to size and interior. Only half my Houses hold one or more peerages, so the others are only the lower level of aristocracy, mostly with good but regular careers and lives.
However, I do struggle a bit with those greater estates. The buildings feel too big if I add a 3rd floor, especially if I use the taller walls. In the world map their estate looks like a monster build even if it is not really that big. So, I stop myself from giving a great estate to those nobles that I try to keep down a bit. I would like to give them a separate bedroom section of the estate, but they often get only 3-4 bedrooms, and perhaps not all with their own bathroom, even. I'd love to have a grand dining room used for gala dinners, but if it should be spacious it will take up too much space from other features of the house. I want the family to have a separate everyday section, with a smaller dining room to use while the grand room is locked off, but in most bigger estates the family tend to eat their meals in the gala section having guests or not. I'd also like my dukedoms to have their own chapel integrated with their builds, but they more often ends up using a small crypt in the basement to save space, not glamorous at all.
I love planning the servants section in accordance with their daily jobs. My bigger houses have 2 live-in servants, a Butler and a Cook, and for greater events I might place decor servants and other wise hire a maid service etc to make the place look a bit more busy with servants even on a Tuesday. A well planned mansion makes it fun even playing the butler or cook, although I normally need to skip most of the "secret passages for servants", some doors might be locked to everyone but them. Need to keep household members as well as their guests out of certain rooms. I wish we could have a setting per sim, like "never cleans table, mops floor or harvest plants" - if I don't keep my eyes on them constantly, the Duchess will suddenly be cleaning the servants' bathroom while she is actually having a finer lady over for tea...
How about your finer families? Do you go the full scale with 4 stories and a monster of a castle just to get enough rooms for everything even if it seems a tad extreme on the world map? Do you focus on a nice castle garden with additional smaller builds, or do they rather own the park lot next door going there for a morning stroll? Do you use the towers for specific activity? How do you organize servants ? Do you send kids to a boarding school to allow more servants within the 8 sims limit? Do you build secret tunnels in the 2nd level basement? Do you go bananas with golden decor and ceiling frescos or do you modernize the interior a bit?
Would love to learn how you organize your bigger mansions!
The Rossie dukedom resides the Rossie Palace. It is the biggest noble estate despite not really looking very glamorous on the outside.
Duke and Duchess of Rossie in the great hall welcoming some guests. There is a tour of Rossie Palace here.
The Gloom barony has a rather small dining room even for their gala dinners. The manor is not really up to their needs, so I'm planning on a change.
The Cavalier dukedom has one of my finest dining rooms, but I wish the family did not use it for their everyday meals, too.
The Von Windenburg Estate was renovated and I like the interior, but it's not really well organized. The Duke and Duchess had another set of twins shortly after this birth announcement, so there are now 5 toddlers in the house, and they could definitely need a Governess...
Most of my noble estates have these old Call Servants Bells. I think it adds to the "upstairs/downstairs" feel, although they are all normally on the same floor.
Not a buildng, but shows most of the current peerages in my game. This image was made long ago, and there have been a few adjustments though, mainly because I did not know the difference between a Peerage and a House .
The fate is always on your hands.
My Sims are not royals or nobles, just a normal-ish modern wealthy family, so while they have a staff that helps with their homes, including a fantastic live-in butler (and while they are working on integrating robots into the maintenance of a second home), they cook themselves and sometimes clean too. I build the rooms to suit them individually and as a family. With only 8 spots in a household, I don't want to give any to a staff member when I don't even want to play that so I don't have large staff areas and household kitchens are for my Sims to use.
Normally, I add details and other decorations as my Sims live in a home. Since their second home is newer, it doesn't have a lot of decorations yet.
Example pictures under the spoilers (Warning: I'm too lazy to take new pictures, so these are mostly recycled. This isn't close to every room, but it's a lot. )
Dining - Most of the time, they eat in the kitchen, but there are other areas for more formal and other occasions.
It's similar with their second home, which has a more modern style. Most meals in the kitchen, but there are other places to eat as well.
Bedrooms (main home only) - They're large but practical.
Family living spaces (main home)
Family living spaces (second home)
Offices (main home, then second home)
Ceremonial Room (It's small and chapel-like).
Outsides (from the back)
Ohhh @haneul !! Love your pictures, so much inspiration! I am obviously to strict with my barons, LOL. They have a backyard shed compared to your fancy home!
We play differently though, like I lock the kitchen doors to avoid my nobles start cooking etc. So I don't only need to plan where the servants can go (they are household members so I can control them, but mostly I don't), I also must plan where my top of house shall *not* go
Your main estate seems to have 3 floors, assuming there are some rooms on 3rd floor. Do you use basement as well, for other than storage etc?
The good thing with live-in servants is that I can get rid of them, or send them to another house owned by the duke, if the house will get too full. But 2 servants normally works fine. I add in a Governess only if needed and if the parents are career person. It's actually a bigger challenge if elders stay around too long, but most of my sims get close to Adult before having kids, so more than 2 generations gets less likely.
I have both old castle like estates with plenty of old stone structures, but also a duke and a baron living in penthouses in San Myshuno, being more modern. It is lots of fun exploring different ways and styles. I love such hidden corridors, but unfortunately most of my estates need all the floor for the main rooms. A few have hidden corridors via the basement, but unless I use the ladder the stairs often take up too much space. I can't imagine a Butler climbing ladders on his way to serve tea, LOL. I love old basements with long corridors and locked doors etc, though.
Sounds like a fun castle, and a great location for a vacation! Murder mysteries could be on the program, yes?
It's lots of fun playing several generations. Just think of the family photos and paintings decorating the house, at some point they will show plenty of family members who passed long ago. It's also cool seeing how kids look like, some times genetics or specific face details live on for generations.
The house is on a 64x64 lot and so big that I haven't felt any need for a basement. Even with 9 bedrooms in that house, the second floor still has a lot of empty rooms that are available if I want to add another room. There's also some space on the first floor that I can use for additional things.
The second home has 3 floors, but I think it's still quite a bit smaller than their main home.
I like reading your blog about your noble households and your world. It's so intricate and interesting.
Haha, I just have 1 household and I'm really picky about cooking levels and parenting skill levels, so I don't let other Sims cook or mess with the kids, especially since some of the younger Sims living in the home are picky about food and can only stomach excellent quality or better. For a while, I had 2 parents with 6 of their children in the house at once so it was full. The butler cleans, repairs things, and gardens. If there's a lot going on, I will also hire a maid and a gardener. I think of my Sims as very sensitive people who pride themselves on being able to do some things by themselves if need be because they don't want to be incompetent at anything even domestic chores (they have an American mentality), but most of the time the butler is there. She's almost magical - she clears plates as they finish eating, etc. My Sims are also very busy trying to live their lives, taking care of one another, and trying to make 80,000 simoleons a week to pay the bills to live in that house while still saving money for other things so they rarely get up to things that would annoy me or that are out of character.
It is fun and can be quite a change from my regular gameplay. Here are some pictures from my castle.
The grand dining room. There is another fine dining nook on the roof of the castle for some al fresco BBQ and water fun entertainment during hot summers.
The entry hall
The portrait gallery
The sitting room. The candle light and fireplace give it a very cozy feel.
The ping pong table set up in the upstairs hall way
And here's an overview of the Basement level, with wine cellar, butler quarters and dungeon
Here's the roof terrace with a hobby room. Think there's a secret bookcase door that leads to the bathroom.
This is what it looks like on the outside. It would have been perfect if the cannons worked and sims could fire them.
The first is "Heatherton Manor", a three story house built on a 50x50 lot:
The kitchen and servants quarters are on this floor (male and female servants have separate sleeping areas).
The main floor is a bit more lavish:
The top floor contains the family's rooms.
The Master Bedroom
A view of the back of the house:
This is "Anderley", a four story house built on a 64x64 lot:
Main Dining Room
The Great Hall
Bedroom with attached Sitting Room
The Blue Sitting Room
A view of the back of the house:
The last one is "A Whitish House", a five story house currently classified as a museum, and built on a 64x64 lot:
The sub-basement is a panic room.
The upper basement opens to the outdoors and contains the kitchen, garage, various workshops, a doctor's office, a few sitting rooms and a bowling alley.
The main floor has a grand entrance hall, a ballroom, a state dining room, a smaller formal dining area, and several reception rooms.
Grand Entrance Hall
The second floor contains the family's living areas, including a private kitchen and dining room, several bedrooms, an office, and two living rooms.
Guests enjoying a bedroom on the second floor.
The third floor contains offices for the staff, laundry facilities, a solarium, a gym, a music room, a game room, and additional bedrooms.
A view of the back of the house:
Also, I'd like to second Simmerville's comments on @haneul's screenshots. Great lighting, and some well decorated rooms. Thanks for sharing!
Gallery ID: jjbadgett12
@crocobaura thanks for sharing pics! I like the rustic feel, and how you made it look grand but not over the top with damask walls and golden candelabras like I normally do. It's fun to decorate in a very royal way, but I have a bad habit of ending up with nearly similar results. I should aim for more variety in this top level of houses, too
Do you have a backstory for your old castle? I often make up a past covering a few generations and with previous peers on the wall
@jbadger12 wow, those builds look just great! I think you managed to add so much more content than I normally do, and still avoiding the extremely blocky and huge build in the landscape, like I often do. Your facades look very nice and well planned! It's also fun to see that each of your build has their own style, sort of, might be more interesting to play them that way. I need to reorganize a few of mine
Now I wonder what bills you guys get? My sims struggle with bills in the §20.000 and up, and assuming some of your builds might cause bills closer to §100.000 - is there any way than money cheats? I do give my top nobility allowances from the regional Council, that is the peerage Trust gets it and hire a few members of the house who will do community engagements, but those money would not be enough to cover huge weekly bills.
unfortunately, most of their paintings aren't worth nearly this much
@jbadger12 Thank you! Your builds are impressively big and full of things. The press room in the basement of the Whiteish House is a clever touch.
My sims are as rich as they can be and one or more of them have the trait that gives you a weekly income of 5% of your cash. At 499,999 simoleons, that more than makes up for any bills.
A lot of real-life nobility make money by allowing tours of their homes. The real house Anderley is based on gets used as a set in a lot of movies. If there was some way you could work that into your stories, it might be interesting.
@haneul I got the idea for that press room from scenes in several movies.
Gallery ID: jjbadgett12
I play with sims of various backgrounds - rich, poor, middle class. I have an aristocracy and I do have a royal prince character, HRH Prince Lionel Van Haunt. He's a descendant of the Von Haunt estate. Currently that is still a public venue and he lives in a massive more modern palace that I downloaded because someone did a great job with it. It's very detailed and difficult with turrets and multiple wings. I mean, I could certainly build one but searched and found one that suited my sims. I put it on the biggest lot in Newcrest overlooking the river. There's a neighbor across the street who is very wealthy but in a smaller mansion. I think they are just 3 stories and they have an inaccessible wing that is probably a vampire lair that I haven't done much with because it's small but the rest of the house suits its residents.
They don't have much garden beyond the public river walking areas but they also don't go outside much. Their front area is mostly the very fine gravel that would suit horses. They have a butler and sometimes a maid but I've mostly played that household as an isolated married couple with their young heir who aren't that in love and the house is slightly a gilded cage. They do have a swimming pool and gym, a home theatre, many bedrooms and lounges. They spend a lot of time walking the corridors and being on different floors of the palace. A novelty for them is something like cooking their own food because they're so wealthy that they don't care that they have a butler. They do have a servants' wing but I haven't focused much on the servants there or had any that are playable.
I haven't used a boarding school yet because the young prince was a toddler. They're really characters among the rest of the world. The prince has had several affairs, one lengthy, all in secret. There were some dramatic fights including a brawl in the corridors.
I've thought about playing with the Von Haunt estate as a residence as well. I should add that the Villareals are all aristocrats in my game, not royal like the Von Haunts but they live the life of leisure. Sir Hugo actually married for love and recently died. His son, Juan Hugo, is kind of a teen heartthrob character, now at university. Luna married Sergio and they are mega wealthy. Their daughter had a secret relationship with the married prince but he is not divorcing Princess Claudine. Max is an aristocratic vampire and actually all of the original vampires are a little clique of dead aristocrats. Max never ages past YA and has no children.
I like having lots of different characters from different parts of society. They all interact in different ways. Obviously those scandal-making royals are kind of based on some of the recent modern royals but not precisely. I've just been playing a modern save and that's how things have played out. The royals have a stunning residence but aren't necessarily the happiest, probably the upper middle class are - well, and Hugo's family.
If they release more content for the rich and famous or for royals, I might have interest. I definitely play with the wealthy sims.