Here are the Pleasant Sims gameplay rules for The Sims 2. I update this page as the rules evolve, so check back for updates. I use this rule set in my Let’s Play videos – including Pleasantview.
In general, I use a wants-based play style. This means I only force Sims to do things they want to do. I allow them to choose their own paths in life and make their own decisions.
In my game, Sims will only pursue relationships, work on skills, do homework, go on dates, get married, have children, etc. if they roll a want to do so. I don’t force them to improve skills, do assignments for school or work, start romantic relationships, or anything else. That’s all up to them! I then put a creative spin on the choices they make to tell their life stories.
Table of Contents
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- Favorite Colors
- Lifetime Wants
- Magic Lamps & Wishes
- Neighborhood Treasury
- Naming Conventions
Sims who try for baby three times and are unsuccessful are considered infertile and eligible to adopt. Same-sex couples who want a child are also eligible to adopt. Sims may only adopt if there are eligible children in the neighborhood that have been put up for adoption or if they know a homeless townie child.
I don’t allow the adoption of randomly created Sims through the in-game adoption system.
Eligible Sims may adopt (in order of priority):
- Unwanted babies
- Children taken by the social worker
- Homeless townie children
When an unmarried female Romance Sim gets pregnant, I roll a number between 1-100. If the number is under 50, the baby is unwanted and are put up for adoption upon birth. If the number is 51 or over, she will keep the baby and raise it herself. Married romance Sims always keep their babies and attempt to raise them.
I use Sim Blender to put the baby “up for adoption.” Any family who is eligible to adopt in the future can use the phone to adopt and the baby will be first in line in the adoption pool.
NOTE: I imagine that the orphanage is located in Sim City and the children are being cared for there until an adoptive family is found.
Children Taken by Social Worker
If a child is taken from the birth family by the social worker for any reason, he or she will be added to the adoption pool. Families eligible to adopt may then adopt the child via the phone. Babies are given first priority, followed by children.
If there are no babies or children currently in the adoption pool, Sim may adopt a homeless townie child. At least one family member must know the child. The child with the highest relationship with any current family member will be favored.
I use the Sim Blender to facilitate these adoptions (see my video tutorial here).
In my game, each Sim Day represents one year. I used the Aging Group Tweak hack from Simlogical to set aging as follows:
- Baby – 2 Days (Ages 0-1)
- Toddler – 3 Days (Ages 2-4)
- Child – 7 Days (Ages 5-11)
- Teen – 6 Days (Ages 12-17)
- Young Adults – 4 Days (Ages 18-21)*
- Adults (College Graduates) – 38 Days (Ages 22-59)
- Adults (Did Not Attend College) – 42 Days (Ages 18-59)
- Elders – Varies
*At age 18, my Sims either attend college or begin working. If they go to college, their time spent there represents ages 18-21. I use Cyjon’s Semester Changes mod, which shortens University to 8 days instead of 24. Every two days in college represents one real life year.
After Sims leave college, I edit their ages in Sim PE so they have the correct number of days remaining in their adult lifespan. A Sim that attends four years of college should have 38 days remaining, while a Sim that only attends 2 years should have 40 days remaining, etc.
NOTE: I’ve posted a tutorial video for using the aging hack to create your own custom ages and lifespans if you want to use a similar system for your game.
I choose aspirations based on my Sim’s zodiac sign. In the Sims 2, townies and other game-spawned Sims are automatically given an aspiration matching their zodiac sign. (This is not the case with premade playable characters.) I apply the same rules to my born-in-game Sims.
|Libra||Romance or Pleasure|
|Taurus||Romance or Pleasure|
Once Sims have used at least three points in their primary aspiration tree, I choose their secondary aspiration. I’m currently using a method created by an awesome subscriber named Shirley. She has given me permission to share it here.
This method uses the Sim’s personal interests to determine their secondary aspiration, which I think is much more realistic than the random method I was using previously.
Here’s how it works.
There are 6 aspirations and 18 total interests. Each interest is assigned to an aspiration as seen in the chart below. Add up the total points for your Sim’s interests. The aspiration with the highest number becomes their secondary.
Here’s an example using Jennifer Burb who has a secondary Pleasure aspiration:
You can add these up manually or use a spreadsheet to do the calculations for you. Shirley created this spreadsheet that allows you to simply enter the interest points in each category. The totals are tallied automatically for each aspiration. Just choose the highest number.
NOTE: If two aspirations are tied for the highest number of points, I roll a number between 1 – 100. If the number is 50 or below, I choose the first aspiration in the list. If the number is 51 or above, I choose the second aspiration.
Click here to download the spreadsheet and try it for yourself. If you don’t have Excel, you can grab it from Google Sheets. By user request, I’ve also created a version that includes the Grilled Cheese aspiration.
Sims must wait until there is a job opening in the newspaper or computer before taking the job. No hacked items or cheats to give them instant access to a career. The only exception is if there’s an unemployment office community lot in the neighborhood that contains the job-seeking notice board on the lot. Then Sims may visit the lot to find a job or apply for welfare.
Choosing a Career
I never force my Sims into a career. They only get a job if they roll the want to. Otherwise, they remain unemployed and make money other ways (or not depending on wants). Here’s how I decide which career to choose based on wants:
- If a Sim rolls the want for a specific career (Science, Education, etc.), I lock in the want and check the newspaper, computer, or job notice board until they get that specific career.
- If a Sim rolls the want to “get a job” but does not specify which one, I will choose a career for them based on their personality/interests using the system outlined below.
- If a Sim rolls the want for more than one career at the same time (usually happens after graduating from college or aging to an adult), I use the interest-based system outlined below.
Choosing When Sim Wants More Than One Career or Unspecified Job
I use my Career Chooser Calculator to select the career. This calculator takes into account the Sim’s interests and predetermined hobby. You can also use it with hobby enthusiasm points instead of predetermined hobby if you like.
It may look complicated, but it’s quite easy to use.
- Enter the Sim’s hobby points into the Calculator.
- Enter 1 point for their hobby (or enter hobby enthusiasm points).
- Enter 1 point for their University Major (if they have one).
The calculator will determine the best career for the Sim based on the points entered. The result is highlighted in green.
The points are weighted so that the first interest listed under a job is given more points than the second and third. The University majors are also weighted. Sims with a major connected to a particular career are given higher points for that career path.
Download the Career Calculator and try it for yourself! If you don’t have Excel, you can grab it from Google Sheets. You’re welcome to use it for your own game, but please don’t post it anywhere else.
CREDIT TO: Anna C. and Shirley Z.
Thank you to my subscriber Anna C. for the idea of using interests to determine career and for the interests attributed to each career. Thank you to Shirley Z. for her amazing Secondary Aspiration Calculator (see above) – which served as the basis for the Career Calculator.
Sims may choose to go to college or not, depending on their wants, but this will affect their ability to progress in their careers. I use Cyjon’s Edukashun Iz Gud mod to limit promotions based on education.
Sims can get into any career track regardless of degree, but promotions will only be granted if Sims meet the following criteria:
- College graduate – maximum level 10
- Completed two years of college – maximum level 7
- Didn’t attend college or dropped out before completing two years – maximum job level is based on final high school grade:
- C or better – maximum level 5
- C- to D- maximum level 3
- F (high school dropout with no diploma) – maximum level 1
Sims who have hit their ceiling only have a 10% chance of being promoted past the job limit.
NOTE: If I am playing a premade ‘hood like Pleasantview, I give the playable adult Sims a college degree using the Batbox if I feel they would have previously attended college.
I try to let my Sims wear the clothing they choose upon aging up (unless it’s just a really stupid combination or doesn’t fit their personality). I try to let them keep at least one piece that they choose and fix the rest if necessary. Sometimes this isn’t possible, like if they choose a really terrible full outfit, but most of the time I can work with their choices.
Sims now purchase at least one everyday outfit for each season (in their favorite colors and styles). Some outfits are suitable for multiple seasons, like a sweater for fall and winter or t-shirt for spring and summer, etc. But each Sim must have at least one outfit for warm weather and another for cold weather.
Sims can always purchase more outfits if they roll a want for it. If a Sim has a wish to buy new clothes, I allow them to go to the clothing store (or shop online) and buy a new outfit. I usually buy a replacement for whichever of their outfits is the worst first.
I assign each of my Sims a favorite color to help me with clothing choices and decorating their rooms/homes. I choose the color based on whatever clothing color they’re wearing when they age up. In my eyes, they chose the color themselves so it must be their favorite.
Each Sim’s favorite color changes at each life stage (unless they choose the same one again by wearing the same color as the last age up). I do not assign favorite colors for toddlers. Sims get their first favorite color when aging up to a child.
I use Autonomous Casual Romance (ACR) to help control fertility. With this mod, Sims autonomously woohoo and try for baby, and their fertility declines as they age. I only force Sims to try for baby when one of them rolls a want to. Otherwise, they just do normal woohoo. I never force them to woohoo unless it’s on their wedding night or if they roll the want.
These are the other guidelines I follow for Sim fertility:
- If a Sim couple tries for baby three times and doesn’t get pregnant, I assume that one of the couple is infertile. I have them adopt at this point to fulfill their desire for a baby. If they want a second child, they can try again naturally up to three times. See below for more information.
- I use the risky woohoo part of ACR, which means my Sims have a chance of becoming pregnant even when they are not trying for baby. I have the chance set to 20% globally.
- Same-sex couples always adopt when they want children (unless one of them is abducted by aliens and gets pregnant that way). I don’t allow male Sims to get pregnant unless it’s via abduction (for realism).
- I never give Sims the “super fertility” aspiration benefit because it results in way too many babies. I like my Sims to have twins only rarely, just like in real life.
In my game, pregnancy last for 18 hours – simulating 9 months in real life. Every two hours = 1 Sim month, which works well with my aging system (24 Sim hours = 1 real life year). I created a mod to change the pregnancy length to 18 hours which you can download here.
I now allow townies to become pregnant. Thanks to my subscriber, Bekkah Marie, for this idea.
When a male Sim has a woohoo session with a female townie, I roll a number between 1-100. If the number rolled is 1-20, the townie becomes pregnant. This is the same 20% chance that my playable Sims have of becoming pregnant through risky woohoo.
If a female townie becomes pregnant, she is moved in to her own household (or with the father of the baby if he desires). I use Sim Blender to make the Sim pregnant by the correct father. The new household is then added to the rotation and we have fresh blood in the neighborhood!
All Sims must pay taxes once per season after living their first season as adults. I use Monique’s Computer to “donate” the money to the neighborhood treasury. Sims also have to pay child support and may receive welfare if they’re poor and unemployed.
Taxes are due every five days (or the first day of every new season). I have each household pay taxes on the morning of each new play round/season. All taxes are paid to the Neighborhood Treasury using the “donate” function on Monique’s Computer.
Current tax rates:
- 10% of net worth
- 7% for retirees
- 5% for Sims with a net worth of over $100k
Net worth includes household funds, bank accounts, and property value. Renters are not taxed on property value. If any member of the household is a retiree, the entire household is taxed at the lower rate.
- $1,000 deduction for home ownership
- $1,500 deduction for married couples
- $ 500 deduction for each dependent (children under age 18)
- $1,500 adoption credit (once per adoption)
- $1,500 deduction for each local business owned
If a Sim is unable to pay their taxes, they must take out a loan from the Loan Jar at 3% interest (or sell enough of their possessions to pay). Some Sims may even get a refund, depending on their financial situation.
Taxes are used to pay for new community lots and improvements to existing community lots in the neighborhood. For example, if you build a new restaurant in Pleasantview, you must deduct the cost of the finished lot from the neighborhood treasury. If there aren’t enough funds, a new lot cannot be built until enough taxes are collected to cover the cost.
Sim parents not living on the same lot with their children must pay child support. I use Monique’s Child Support mod to manage this system.
- Pregnancy – $200 per day
- Baby – $200 (M, W, F, and Sun)
- Toddler – $200 (T, Th, Sat)
- Child – $200 (W, F)
- Teen – $200 (Th)
NOTE: After a teen goes to college, this mod will make the parent(s) pay child support to the teen if the teen moves before Thursday. I consider this a gift from the parents to the new college student and allow them to keep the money. But you could always go and immediately age up your teens if this bothers you.
When Sims are divorced, the Sim who moves out is entitled to part of the married couple’s estate. Sim City Divorce Court decrees the following:
- The divorced Sim is awarded 50% of what they originally brought to the marriage. I keep track of this amount on my Sims 2 tracking spreadsheet any time there’s a new marriage.
- If the divorced Sim did not bring anything to the marriage, e.g. they were the original owner of the lot or part of a premade married couple, that Sim is awarded 30% of household funds. This includes any money in bank accounts.
- The divorced Sim will be exempt from paying taxes the round after the divorce takes place.
The Sim who initiated the divorce must use Monique’s Hacked Computer to transmit the funds into the household account of the divorced spouse.
I use the Social Welfare mod to allow my poor Sims to apply for welfare at the Social Services office. Base payment is $120 per day. Increases are based on number of children and skills. Once a Sim has a job, welfare payments are discontinued.
I no longer allow Sims to inherit money when a family member dies. I use the No Inheritance After Elder Dies mod to prevent the money being received. I found that it made things too easy when Sims were given up to $20,000 when a close elder passed away.
Any money an elder has at the time of their death in their bank account or in cash may be distributed among the living family members. I wait until I get the “Sim should get their affairs in order” pop-up, and then I divvy up their money like this:
- All money is left to the Sim’s living spouse.
- If no spouse is living, the money will be split equally between all the Sim’s children.
- If the Sim has no children, the money will be split equally between all the Sim’s friends.
- If the Sim has no spouse, children, or friends (how sad!), the money will be donated to the neighborhood treasury.
NOTE: In the case of an accidental death where a Sim dies suddenly before becoming an elder, I will use cheats to divide the money between the appropriate recipients.
Family homes are also inherited. I typically go on a case-by-case basis for home inheritance, as all family situations are different. But these are the general guidelines I follow:
- The oldest male child inherits the family home. (The exception to this rule would be a gay couple in which the oldest male is moving in with his partner, or if the oldest male child dies.)
- If the oldest male child cannot inherit, the family home goes to the second male child.
- If there is no male child, the oldest daughter can inherit the family home (unless she’s moving in with someone else).
- If there are no children to inherit the family home, it goes back on the housing market to be purchased by another family at a later time.
I try to keep iconic homes – like the Goth Mansion and Pleasant Home – in the family as long as possible. But of course, this doesn’t always work out. I will also bend these rules from time to time if I feel it’s necessary for the story.
I ignore lifetime wants randomly assigned when my Sims are teens. Instead, I wait until they finish college and become adults. Then, I assign the lifetime want that most closely fits what they truly want to do with their lives.
If they roll a want for a specific career and take a job in that career, I will often give them the lifetime want for that career. Some Sims may have a non-career-related lifetime want if it fits their personality. For example, Popularity Sims may have the want for 20 BFFs or Fortune Sims may have the want to earn $100,000 or own 5 Top-Level Businesses.
I don’t really have a method for choosing these types of wants. I just look at the Sim’s personality and make the most logical decision. For example, a really shy Sim with no interest in money probably won’t be a business owner. An outgoing Sim with an interest in culture and travel would probably love to make 20 BFFs, etc.
Magic Lamps & Wishes
Yes, I actually have rules for magic lamps. This is because I was struggling to find a way to use these in a way that didn’t feel like cheating. Here’s my method.
The Sim who gets the memory of finding the lamp can make one wish based on aspiration:
- Family – Give Me Peace of Mind
- Fortune – Give Me Wealth
- Knowledge – Give Me Power To Cheat Death or Resurrect
- Popularity – Give me a Long Life
- Pleasure – Give me Wealth or Long Life
- Wealth – if Sim’s aspiration meter is in green or below at the time of making the wish
- Long Life – if Sim’s aspiration meter is in yellow or platinum at the time of making the wish
- Romance – Give me Beauty
If the Sim with the memory of finding the lamp is a baby, toddler, or child, they must wait until they are at least a teen and have an aspiration before making their wish.
After the first wish is made, any Sim who rolls the want may make a wish until all three are used.
The neighborhood treasury is the neighborhood’s current balance of tax money available for spending. I use the money to pay for City Employees (such as the Orphanage Caretaker) and to build or improve new community lots. When money is spent in the neighborhood, I subtract it from the treasury balance.
For story purposes, Sims pay their taxes to a central branch in the state capitol of Sim City. The money may be withdrawn at any time for spending in the ‘hood.
NOTE: These rules replace my old Mayor rules. I no longer play with a Mayor Sim and instead keep track of the neighborhood’s treasury balance on my tracking spreadsheet.
I name newly born Sims based on which letter of the alphabet currently has the fewest living Sims with a first name beginning with that letter.
I begin with the letter A and go through the alphabet (skipping the letters Q, U, X, Y and Z). If there are living Sims with names that begin with the letter A, I move to letter B, etc. until I come to the next letter of the alphabet that does not correspond to the name of a current living Sim. In the rare case where all letters are taken, I will start over and find the first letter with the fewest living Sims.
I came up with Eva Lothario’s name because there were no living Sims with a name beginning with the letter E (but there were for letters A-D). I Googled “female names that begin with the letter E.” Then I picked the one I liked best. The next baby born will have a name that begins with the letter F, and so on.
I will also occasionally use family names from the Sim’s deceased ancestors if they start with the correct letter. The only exceptions to these rules (so far) are the Broke and Dreamer family. I named Brandi’s unborn baby after her father, Bob Broke, and all of Darren’s children have names that begin with the letter D to keep his family tradition alive.
Sims only retire from their jobs if they roll a want to do so in their elder years.
I used to have them retire as soon as they became elders, but that felt a little too much like forcing my will upon them. Now, only Sims who wish to retire will make the call. Otherwise, they work until they’re dead!
Each neighborhood I play also has a retirement home. This is a place where I send townies who age up to elders at the same time as my Sims. Each time a playable Sim ages up to an elder, I also age up a townie – the playable’s closest friend – to an elder with them. This Sim is then moved into the retirement home.
When a playable Sim passes away, a Sim from the retirement home also passes away. I use the death creator to have them gently pass of “old age.” This is how I keep my townies aging without having to actually play them. It also keeps the neighborhood from getting overcrowded.
Romance & Marriage
I allow my Sims to choose who they want to marry, date, or procreate with, but I restrict them to other playable Sims within their generation. A generation is defined as all Sims born in the same season/rotation.
When the time comes that everyone is related to each other (which eventually happens in every hood), then I will allow them to marry Maxis townies or playables from subhoods. Random townies are only allowed after all other playables and Maxis townies are taken. Romance Sims may have relationships with anyone they choose.
Sims only go steady, get engaged, and/or get married when they roll the want to do so. Otherwise, they can still live together and/or have children together as unmarried partners.
I use the Autonomous Casual Romance (ACR) mod, to randomize gender preference of all townies in the game who don’t currently have a preference. There is a 10% chance that a Sim will become gay or bisexual.
When my playable Sims age up to a teen, I randomize their preference manually using the Sim Blender.
If one of my Sims becomes gay through ACR, I will make another Sim of the same sex in their generation gay so they will have a partner. If there is no available Sim of the same sex in their generation, I will allow them to choose the townie they like best.
I play each household for 4 Sim days – or an entire season (see below). I like this method because all Sims are in the same season for story-telling purposes (and for the sake of consistency).
University rounds are a bit different. Because I use a mod to make semesters 8 days long, time slows down a bit during University and every 2 days = 1 real life year. I play University as an 8-day round instead of 4 to keep the students’ ages in sync with the rest of the ‘hood.
NOTE: In my original Pleasantview Let’s Play, I played each household for 7 Sim days (Monday – Monday). But I found this took far too long when there were a lot of households to get through in later generations.
I use the Seasons and Weather Controller mod to change the length of the Seasons to 4 days each. This aligns better with the 8-day college semesters I use and makes it easier to keep everyone’s aging on track (see Uni rules below).
The type and order of seasons depends on the neighborhood. Pleasantview, for example, gets all four seasons beginning with Summer. Strangetown, on the other hand, will not have a winter – only spring, summer, and fall.
I use Cyjon’s Semester Changes mod, which shortens University to 8 days instead of 24. Every two days in college represents one semester (and one real life year). Sims only attend college if they roll the want on the day they would age up to an adult. I don’t lock the want if they roll it before their last day as teens (in case they change their minds).
When Sims attend University, there are a few guidelines I follow:
- Thanks to a new law passed in Sim City, higher education is free for all Sims. However, bills in college must be paid as a “room and board” fee.
- Every sim chooses the major they want. If a Sim doesn’t roll a want to declare a specific major, they remain undeclared until the end of their Sophomore year when they are automatically enrolled in the Philosophy major.
- I don’t force Sims to study, do assignments, write terms papers, build skills, or go to class. They will only engage in these activities if they roll a want to do so (or automatically do them without my direction). Sims will flunk out of college if they don’t keep their grades up.
- Sims keep the scholarship and grant money they receive in college so they have something to live on after graduation. I use the mod No20Khandout so my Sims do not automatically get $20,000 just for becoming adults. Most Sims have to live in Slappy’s Flophouse after college until they can save enough for a house or larger apartment.
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