Originally posted: 04/03/12 on my thesims3.com blog page
Ok… so I’m bringing you into the story well past the beginning — but really, this is where it’s starting to get interesting. I’m sure you’re all familiar with Vlad Schlick and Elvira Slayer. When I moved my sim clan from Barnacle Bay to Sunset Valley I also brought these two into town from Bridgeport to spice things up a bit. I play the game with mods by Twallan at NRaas Industries, including his custom assassination skill mod which is what made this story happen. 🙂
It began a couple of weeks ago when I decided to give Vlad the assassination skill. For some reason I hadn’t noticed that the skill could be set to autonomous, someone mentioned it yesterday and I made the adjustment…. just to see what would happen. According to the skill documentation, the skill can’t be developed in the game unless the first skill level is given to a sim. Apparently there’s some EA coding that makes that not necessarily true. Although I had only given the skill to a small handful of sims, the game had been putting it out there for anyone and everyone — and allowing them to use it autonomously.
The other day, Vlad’s daughter, Charlotte, died. The announcement said that she had drowned in a pool that had looked ever so inviting. I was suspicious. The sim was an evil, mean, nasty vampire — even Vlad had wished to see her ghost! I immediately went to Vlad and checked his kill stats. Nothing. He wasn’t responsible. I checked the other sims I could think of that had the skill or that I thought had the skill. No one had killed anyone. I was puzzled. I knew it was unlikely that the disabled EA story progression could have fired off the story, but nothing else made sense either. At this point in time, I still had the “allow autonomous” set to false — none of the skill holders should have been able to kill anyone unless it was user directed.
It wasn’t too long after activating the autonomous kill skill, my active sim left work at the stadium, went home, then suddenly turned around and raced back to the stadium to take a picture of Vlad. This was rather unusual since celebrity photo ops usually drop out of the queue when the sim realizes they aren’t in the same location as the celeb any more. Then I saw her. The woman Vlad had been talking to when my active left to go home was lying on the ground at Vlad’s feet — wearing the pink ghost shader of a sim who had starved to death. Or who had been poisoned by a level 1 assassin. Shame on you, Vlad!
For some reason I later found myself perusing the list of dead in town and checking out the thumbnails. I noticed that a recently deceased member of the community appeared to be wearing that same pink ghost shader. I had been under the impression he had died of old age, so I checked Vlad’s stats again. Only 1 kill. Hmm. This was puzzling.
I took my question to the NRaas community and Twallan mentioned that thing about the EA coding sometimes giving skills to inactive sims and encouraging them to make progress. I went back to my game and pulled up a list of all the sims with the assassination skill. To say the least, I was shocked to discover that in addition to the three sims I’d given the skill to, there were another 16(!) who had it at some level above -1. One sim had made it to level 3. It wasn’t Vlad. He was only at level 2.
The game had given the assassination skill to the Queen of Mean, Elvira. On top of that, she had already made several kills — and there hadn’t been that many deaths just since I changed the autonomy setting.
I looked at her skill journal and discovered that she had poisoned one sim — the one I’d seen with the pink shader; she had liquified one — Vlad’s daughter, Charlotte; and there were two others she had killed. The method used to snuff them is only available to someone at level 3 or above. And yet they were her first kills. (Correction: exsanguination is available to all vampires.) I guess the game wasn’t happy just to give her a push in the “right” direction to develop the skill. Kind of like how a sim will get a boost to level 3 of certain other skills if they played with the right toys as toddlers. But that left me with another question: Who were these other sims Elvira had killed?
Meanwhile, back in the game… Yesterday Vlad had an invitation to go to a party being hosted by the mother of his twins. While at the party he seemed to be in a bit of a snit. He was in a conversation with a temporary resident of the household and got offended by something. Next thing I know he’s planning to poison her. I manage to avert that little crisis and he decides to leave the party. Then I realize that the hostess is across the street at the art gallery — I had wanted him to turn her back into a vampire so I sent him over to chat. He offered to turn her, did the deed, then got ticked about something and suddenly she was drowning in a pool of…. well… whatever is that liquified sims turn into. Where did that come from???
That was totally uncalled for and there was no way I was going to stand by and let one of my favorite sims be dead just because the vampire was having a bad day. So I promptly resurrected her and returned her to her family. I disposed of the mourn moodlets for those who loved her — except for Vlad. I let him wallow in his broken heart. Two days of sobbing like a baby is a small price for what he did. Not to mention that I wanted to test something which resulted in him not going to jail. He got off easy for his crime.
And I still hadn’t figured out who Elvira had killed.
Later that sim-evening an announcement came up telling me that another member of my extended family had died of starvation. She may have been an elder, but she was well fed. Someone had poisoned her. And Vlad just happened to be sitting in the jail. Naughty Vlad. It serves you right!
Well things didn’t get better for the sims of Sunset Valley today. Although Vlad was in jail overnight and has behaved himself throughout the day, Elvira apparently needed a little more excitement than she was getting from all the fires in her house. She went over to The Grind and ran into an old friend, Pauline Wan. Pauline has been a vampire for several sim-weeks and was even, briefly, a member of Elvira’s Nosferatu clan. I don’t know if she was having a bad day or just did it for the shock value, but suddenly Pauline was on the floor. Poisoned. Bad girl, Elvira! Bad girl!
I think I finally figured out who her other victims were. After careful filtering of those who had died by exsanguination and those who were actually vampires, I was able to narrow the list to two names. Which was exactly how many I was looking for. Both of these sims had died sim-days — even weeks — before I turned on the kill skill autonomy.
What does the future hold for my Sunset Valley? Most of the vampires in town are good, decent, upstanding citizens…. but watch out for those who aren’t!