Round One – Gurtok Family

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The Gurtok family is a small family of two orcs, Yulla and her aging father, Yurot. Yulla, on bad financial times and trying to care for her father, finally decided to jump at the opportunity offered by Crossroads Valley.  Yurot, … Continue reading

Crossroads Valley – Setup

When rolling the families for the challenge, I kept it entirely random with a hand d6.  I was surprised to get 6 families on my roll.  6 Families!  Yikes.  It was definitely going to be interesting!

Using the following chart I determined what race they were to be.  I kept humans pretty rare because, really, what fun is playing a majority of humans and only a few weirdo fantasy people?

1 – Human
2 – High Elf
3 – Orc
4 – Red Elf
5 – High Elf
6 – Orc

For the six families I came up with 2 high elf families, 2 orc families, 1 red elf family and a group of humans.  All other random things were determined by the random creation rules for Prosperity challenges which can be found HERE (among many other places about the internet.)  As you’ll see, I rolled quite a few elders.  I’m not sure how it will play out but that’s all part of the fun, right?

I currently only have Pets and Seasons installed for my game and so used one of the blank neighborhoods available.  For houses, I opted for the last four cheapest ones in the game and decided the fifth least expensive house from the end would be given out on a 5 or a 6.  (It could technically break a family funds-wise but I wanted to add it to the random mix. )  With things decided I started rolling for houses and getting families built per the rules random charts.  It took a bit longer than expected!  I decided on no pets at first for any of the families.  I figured I’d have enough on my plate without worrying about pets at first.

(FYI – had I wanted pets I would have simply turned to the dice and set up something quick like – On a 5 or a 6 a family will have a pet.   If a pet is rolled then 1-2 = Cat, 3-4 = Dog, 5 – 6 = Other.  Another roll could be made to see how many pets, etc.)

Finally, I was all done and Crossroads Valley looked like this at start-up.

I decided to start with the Gurtok family and from there the order will be as follows; Gurtok, Zylanius, Qin Halshani, Bloodtusk, Penderson and then the Tulroz family.

And so, with notepad, pen, dice and a cool beverage at hand,  I loaded the Gurtok family and kicked everything off!

What is Crossroads Valley?

Crossroads Valley is my new Prosperity Challenge I’ve started and this particular Prosp. Challenge has a twist!  I’ve decided that my kind of fun is to play with the classic racial antagonism of elves and orcs.  During my down time I had the thought, “Wouldn’t it be fun to build a Prosperity Challenge that featured two sets of opposed factions that REALLY didn’t like each other?”  What sort of things might happen? How would it work?  So, once I got the new laptop, I set out to poke it with a stick and build it.

There are four distinct races in Crossroads Valley; humans, high elves, red elves and orcs.  Humans are, uh, well-known and will make up a few playable families and, of course, all the townies.  High elves are your typical fair skinned, long eared fancy types.  Red elves have red skin, long ears and are a bit more, uhm, drastic in the way they handle conflicts.  Orcs are those green-skinned types that everyone loves.

I’ve decided not to spend a lot of time making or finding new clothes, content etc.  I want to get in and start playing!  Instead I’ve gone with downloaded skin colors and the idea that the Sim world is something akin to the old Shadowpunk roleplaying game.  In that world, elves, orcs and other fantasy races lived in a modern 21st style century world just like you and me.  This makes it much easier and let’s me get to playing instead of futzing.  (There’s nothing wrong with futzing mind you…)

As far as politics, I decided it goes something like this – Humans are the neutral race and can take any alliance they want.  High Elves may only initially align with other elven races and humans with the caveat that red elves and high elves merely tolerate each other and do not really get along well.  Orcs may only ally, at first, with other orcs and humans.  That is their initial temperament but it can change during game play.  How does it change?  Well, this is based on not so much hard and fast rules or points but along the lines of the Matrix system I’ve mentioned previously in my other gameplay post. Basically, I’m going to see what happens in the game and then make a few dice rolls that will answer any questions I might have.  If wanted, I can make some of the posts more thorough and make sure I give examples of how it all works.  (And, yes, I’ll try to get some hard and fast rules put up sometime in the future.)

And, yes, just to be clear, we might get a few hostile deaths in there.  I want to simulate that well, in a valley full of elves and orcs things might not be very nicey nice.  To that effect, I’ll be making some matrix style arguments if conflict breaks out and we’ll see how it goes…

Each round spent with each family will be two days.  I may want to increase this but I’m happy with this time period for now.  I’m not a huge fan of 1 day = 1 year but I may shoot for something similiar to 1 day = 3 months or something similiar.  To be truthful, I’m not sure yet and may never actually designate this.  Why bother when I’m having fun without it?  On the blog I’ll record it in the title with the typical Round One and Family Name.

The Story – Several years ago, a conflict broke out between the elves and the orcs.  During that conflict, the red elves who normally like to keep themselves, ended up getting caught into the conflict as well.  Those battles are now over due to a shaky peace accord agreed upon by all parties a few years ago.  In order to try and bridge that seperation, a valley was designated as Crossroads Valley and families were allowed to move there, free of charge, with the only stipulation being they would have to share land with other races.  Even after it’s opening, it sat vacant for a long time except for the humans who, of course, are willing to go and move and build pretty much anywhere!

Eventually, a few families signed on and began moving into the Valley.  No one knew what was to come next and whether the experiment would be a success or failure.

Stay tuned for more!

Egad!!! It’s Been Awhile!

So, after losing two computers and having to limp along on a 8 year old dusty desktop computer, I’m finally back!  Wow.  That sucked!!!  In the great crash of 2010 I lost pretty much all of the Harrison Family, T-Dog and Roundabout Corners.  It set me off so badly I pretty much wanted nothing to do with Sims 2 for awhile.

However, after getting a gifted laptop that can handle the game, I’ve decided to start all over again.  I’m a sad, insane man.  This time around though I’m going to do something a little different and start a Prosperity Challenge with a twist!  More on that in the next few posts.

What about Roundabout Corners?  What about the Harrisons???  Well, for now, I’m willing to just let them be, dissolved due to a horrible multi-dimensional time flux/portal/hole thing.  I will be starting Roundabout but it won’t be with the Harrisons.  If anything, since I wasn’t too far along anyway, I might restart T-Dog in a larger Prosperity style neighborhood.  I just don’t know.  For now, I’m enjoying kicking off the new Prosperity called Crossroads Valley.  If I get time or an itch I need to scratch, I’ll get T-Dog going again and we’ll see what happens!

It’s good to be playing again.  I was poking around Strangetown a day or so ago and one of my sims ran into Bella Goth.  What a surprise that was!  Anyway, I’ve worked the kinks out after not playing for over six months and I’m raring to go.  I’ve got a bit more time lately but it’s being taken up with my writing and looking for a new job.  Posts might be a little smaller but that just means more finely tuned, right?  Speaking of tuned, stay tuned as I get Crossroads Valley off the ground which should be this weekend!

Life with Danger

Things got hectic fast around the ol’ homestead.  Rachael had to go on back to work and that left me, Mr. Nanny T-Dog to take care of things.  Danger grew up fast and he and I celebrated his birthday quietly while his Mom was away at work.

Rachael was on the go a lot but she kept making good decisions which simply helped us out more and more.

It seemed like I was constantly on the go even though I didn’t have a job yet.  Danger proved to be a bit of a rascal in learning things.  As stubborn as his old man which at first I found charming.  Don’t worry, it got old real fast.

Don’ get me wrong but I think the boy’s got a block of stone for a head.

What he did like to do was play with his little kid music machine thing.  Hours and hours, he just sits on that thing and taps away.  He loves it.  Maybe he’ll grow up to be one of them celebrities of rock and roll!  That’d be good cause then Ol’ Rachael and I could just retire in a big ol’ house Danger buys for us.  Danger Rudd, Rock God!  Yeah!

During some down time I happened to stumble onto an opening at a local company selling hardware and lumber.  On a lark, I applied and what do you know if I didn’t get accepted!  So, with me going back to work, it was time to hire up a nanny for Danger.  She seemed alright and the two of them took a liking to each other.

I also started worrying a bit about Mrs. T-Dog.  Her eating habits are durn near shocking sometimes.  I figured it was just the pregnancy but, wow, she just wouldn’t stop eating the weirdest combinations or the oldest, fer that matter.  It finally got up to her real good and she was sick for several days.  It didn’t stop her though.

We didn’t have much time to ourselves while we were trying to raise Danger.  It was getting to her and I think after the food poisoning something inside her went over the deep end.  I came home one night to find her in the kitchen making noises with her mouth and little Danger playing in the overflow from the toilet.

Needless to say, that was a shocker.  I just figure we need to go out and get a night on the town here soon.  Maybe.  Sometime.  Eventually.

Then, things started to REALLY go downhill.  I came home one day and Danger had pulled one of his usual boneheaded moves and decided he wanted to go outdoors.  Clever little lizard.

Luckily, he just wanted to enjoy the view and munch on his fingers.  That’s how I found him.

Then, I found out that the nanny had been giving Rachael a hard time about some of her habits and how she took care of Danger.  She had started bossing her around, telling her what to do and getting in Mrs. Rudd’s face.

I’m sure Rachael would have punched the old lady out but, like I said, she hadn’t been feeling one hundred percent so, instead, she cried alot.  I found out about it and fired the old chicken that day.

I’ve pretty much been doing everything since then.  Taking care of Danger, feeding everyone and trying to keep my new job.  Rachael really aint up to much.  She goes to work, eats, dances with the mop and then wants to hit me up for a little who-hoo.

If I aint completely exhausted, I usually go along for the later request.  And even if I’m just a little exhausted, that’s why God made coffee.  Right?

Time moved quick on all of us and before we knew it, Danger was growing up.  Both Rachael and I decided to take a day off to celebrate.  I invited Lucy the maid and Quentin from my old job.  The two of them sort of hit it off after I introduced them.  Not sure what might happen there.  Wish ’em both the best.

Not much of a gathering but they showed and I ordered pizza.  Poor Rachael was so tired she nearly fell asleep in the bathroom.  I encouraged her to take a quick nap.  Her definition of a quick nap, unfortunately, was to sleep for ten hours.

Danger and I made the most of it.

And that was that!  Danger Rudd bringer of Chaos.


Life around the Harrison house has been a bit hectic with the addition of Gwen, the first girl in the Harrison line!  We’re going to try something different this time and tell the story mainly through images.

The new arrival of Gwen kept everyone busy, Kaylynn more than anyone.

Calder invited the headmaster over to see if Jake could get into his private school.  It helped that Calder’s work at the hospital was well known.  What really threw everyone was how the Headmaster opened up during a story over dinner.  It seemed Roundabout Corners was getting weirder every day.

A few days later, Kaylynn had an accident in the kitchen.  A tragedy in the making…Things turned out alright and all the family lost was the stove.   If Calder had not run downstairs in time and called the fire department it would have been much worse.  Kaylynn was rattled about it for awhile.  Everyone else, however,  just showered up and went about their business.

During a particularly cold winter evening, Dagmar’s ghost began floating around the estate.  She wasted little time getting to business…

She continued to be seen for several evenings after that before vanishing back into the graveyard.  Jake told his parents about the event but failed to mention the puddle he’d made on his bedroom floor which he quietly cleaned up in the middle of the night.

Calder was fascinated by the whole thing but he did not have the time to investigate further.  He’d gotten word that the Chief of Staff for the hospital might be retiring.  He’d decided to make a run for the prized position.

Which meant ALOT of time devoted to study.

Amidst all this, Gwen had a birthday with a few of Kaylynn’s friends and Jake on hand.

Growing up she seemed to be a bit demanding, constantly asking for attention.  Seeing Daddy read so much lately, she also demanded to be read to by him, following him around the house until he did so.

And, it took its toll on Calder…

Gwen was turning into a real handful in so many ways.

On top of seeming to have quite the attitude, she’d somehow acquired some very interesting habits.  One of which she would sit and do in her crib for hours on end.

Jake, on the other hand, was excelling at the new private school.  He’d made a new friend, Marissa Bear and the two seemed to be hitting it off quite well.

They actually became fast friends and Marisa seemed to be coming over all the time.

However, late one night,  a very interesting thing happened to Jake.  One minute he was playing with Gwen and the next, well, everything was different!

Jake chose the Family Aspiration and he rushed over to his parents room to show them what had happened.  Someone else, however, was waiting for him!

This time he took the scare in stride, barely phased!    “Silly grandma.  Everyone knows you were crazy…” he seemed to mutter to himself before running downstairs to find his Dad who was busy studying.

What’s in A Name?

So, I was wandering around the internet and poking at other Sim sites when I came across Oh My God It’s Full of Sims over on Livejournal.  It was at this point I got tagged…

“”I’m going to explain the meaning of the name for this journal and why I chose it. The game is tag! You’re it! Since you’re reading this, now go post in your journal what your journal name means and your reason for choosing it. And don’t forget to keep the tag game going!””

So, I figured that I’d play along and, well, a tag is a tag.

To be honest, I struggled for a long time on the name for the blog.  I wanted something whimsical and witty, something catchy.  I’m not sure why but I also love roundabouts.  (Maybe it all goes back to the fateful trip to Scotland oh so many moons ago?)  I live near the first one installed in my town and see it every day.   Being a writer, I also love the word.  It’s catchy.  So, I wanted something in the title with roundabout in it.  I think it took close to two weeks of letting names  come to me and then be scratched off an ever growing list.  By the end of two weeks I wanted to get the blog started and frustration was setting in.

Some other names that “almost were” include “Blue Sky Roundabout”, “Rounding Roundabout”, “Redfish Roundabout”, and “Black Woods Roundabout.”  The last one came about because of the werewolf influence that made its presence known early in the gameplay.

In a random chat with a dear friend by the name of Chairspinner, I expressed my problem and she said, “What about Roundabout Corners?”  It was sudden inspiration and it was perfect.  And that, as they say, was that.

So, there you go. Now you know and, more importantly, you are also tagged!  Let me know if you carry on the tradition.


More posts coming by the end of the week.  Still recovering and unpacking from the vacation.