Cyjon's Apocalypse Challenge Modifications

After playing the Apocalypse Challenge using rules customized for my taste, play styles, and mods, I'm presenting my own modified rule set in case anyone is interested. These aren't designed to be used verbatim, but rather as inspiration to create your own custom rules.

Some entries are marked PROPOSED RULE. These are ideas I came up with late enough in the challenge that I didn't implement them but they seem worth investigating. Since they have not been playtested they may need tweaking.

These rules were use in a game with all EPs up through Seasons.

The Apocalypse Challenge is a set of rules for the Sims 2 that reflect the collapse of society after a global catastrophe. Players are severely restricted in their actions and must work to rebuild society. It is a very difficult challenge. Just remembering the rules is an effort, not to mention keeping your sims from dying in the early days.

The base rules themselves are scattered. Here are the links that I know of. Some are dead so I've added Wayback Machine links:


Below are my changes. Some of them aren't rules as much as suggestions for color, such as putting sims in warm clothes until Music is lifted. Anything not addressed is handled the same way as Pinstar's rules.

Some of my rules require other peoples' mods such as:


The game starts with two founders in college. After graduation give them the usual 20k (or wait to install No 20k Handouts until after they graduate). They start in a normal lot of any description until they get onto Education and Military careers (required to open University which is critical with my mods). As soon as both careers are entered, they must move out and start the Apocalypse.

No more than one restriction can be lifted every 10 days (including pet jobs, Hopelessness and Alien Technology). You'll have to keep track of this manually. On day 1 you get what I call a "token". This may be saved as long as you like or can be spent to permanently buy off a restriction once all the other requirements of that restriction have been met. You get another token on day 11, then a third on day 21, and so on.

Note that if you don't have a token when a restriction has been satisfied, you merely suppress it. So, for example, if someone reaches the top of the Culinary career, your sims can eat normal meals. However if that person dies or loses the Culinary job before the next token, that restriction cannot be lifted until someone gets to the top of the Culinary career again.

You can also choose not to spend a token, saving it for something better.

Townies age and die, and this must be controlled manually by the player. Create a full set of townies, assign each of them a date of birth appropriate to their current age band, and each game day transition appropriate townies to the next age band. Yes, this is a pain, but I consider it important to making the game more real. Immortal townies make some aspects of the challenge too easy. Besides, these are going to be your zombies.

On day 1 of the Apocalypse, kill off all elder townies (per the Medical and Service Animal restrictions below). Each day thereafter new townie elders automatically die as soon as they transition to elder until one or both of those restrictions are lifted.

Each day there is a 100% chance of random townie death, separate from elder death above. That drops with each of the 25 restrictions until it reaches 20%, so it drops 80%/25 or just over 3% per restriction lifted. The cause of death is random.

To find which townie actually dies, generate a random number between the date of birth of the youngest teen and that of the oldest elder (or adult). If there is no townie still alive with that date of birth, then there is no death. In this way as townies die the number of deaths will drop until you reach a steady state of about 50% of the original townie number.

Until the Medical restriction is lifted, all sims (townies and playable) rise as zombies (95%) or vampires (5%) the day after they die. So a sim that dies on day 27 will rise on day 28. This gives people time to react to the death and roll up the zombie fear.

For purposes of this mod, vampires are just intelligent zombies with photosensitivity. They can be interacted with (unlike normal zombies) but vampires aren't allowed to bite people and spread the condition. The only way to be a vampire is to get "lucky" after dying.

Multiple households are allowed for children but No 20k Handouts means that the new families have to support themselves. New households also have to be 5x5 and follow all restrictions. Any sim can lift restrictions, including these new households, but remember the "only one restriction per ten days" rule. Each house must be played one day in rotation. Each University property must be played for one academic year per game day.

Additional rule changes are listed below by restriction. If there is another career listed after the restriction, it must also be cleared to allow the action.


  • Only the cheapest items in each category (chair, bed, etc.) are available for purchase. Players should use their own judgment, focusing more on function over form. For example the torn up couches are not the cheapest but to me look better plus they have the same comfort as the cheaper furniture. As another example, a coffee maker is OK (if otherwise unrestricted) but an espresso maker is not. Your sims may not have luxury items like expensive toilets, snazzy wallpaper, comfortable easy chairs, etc. that would be allowed under the base Apocalypse rules.
  • For additional rules on beds, see the Security Animal restrictions

Law Enforcement

  • Teens may go to college even with Body < 10 as long as other college restrictions have been satisfied.


  • Sims may not use acne cream.
  • Player may use mods to allow non-autonomous sponge baths and to extend sponge baths to children.
  • All sims must have pneumonia at all times - use InSIMenator to give everyone (child and older) pneumonia and keep giving it as it gets cured.
  • Each day at 6 pm, each playable elder has a 10% chance of dying. This does not happen the day an adult ages to elder, so everyone gets at least one day. If an elder drinks elixir, do not check for death on the extra days given.
  • PROPOSED RULE - Instead of the previous rule on elder death, each day at 6 pm age each elder an extra day using InSIMenator. This means elders will live only half as long. This is true regardless of elixir, so each dose of elixir effectively adds only half as many days.
  • Townies die after 1/2 normal elder period (but see Service Animal restrictions below).
  • All dead sims (playable and townie) rise from the dead after 24 hours, 95% as zombies and 5% as vampires.
  • After lifting Medical, allow pneumonia to run its course rather than immediately curing it. Dead sims now have only a 5% chance of rising as a zombie, 5% as vampire, and 90% of staying dead.


  • Small appliances are also restricted by Science.
  • May buy birthday cakes to age babies, but may not eat them (the cakes or the babies).
  • There is no restriction on bottles of milk served to toddlers. The original rules just say "baby bottles" which could be interpreted as bottles for babies (only), but my ruling says it is OK for toddlers as well.
  • PROPOSED RULE - Move the "one meal per day" limitation to Natural Science. It makes more sense to tie this to the inability to grow food. Sims are still limited to preparing only cold food or cooking on the grill so menu choices are limited.
  • PROPOSED RULE - People may study cooking ONLY if required by their job or college major, and only as many skill points as is required for the next promotion or current semester. They can't study ahead. People in other jobs or majors can't study cooking at all. Anyone can still learn by doing.


  • Large career rewards are treated like date objects. They can be placed in inventory one time but may not be transferred to another sim or placed in the environment.


  • Protection money is caculated as 15% of the total value of the property as shown on the neighborhood screen.
  • Sims may borrow money from the syndicate but these loans may not be paid back (thus will require daily interest payments) until Criminal is lifted. I used a custom object based on another modder's object (which I now can't find) which was based on Inge Jones' Mortgage Shrub, but mine was set to 3% interest. In hindsight that was way too low. My recommendation would be to use my Loan Jar with interest at 9%, and payments limited to no more than the interest amount each day.


  • Extension of the Love Rule: Sims with 70+ LTR can be invited over. They must be flirted with (or kissed or whatever) immediately upon arrival and if they don't fall in love right away, their love is not true. In that case they must leave immediately and may not be romantically pursued again. This allows pursuit of romantic relationships over the telephone.
  • May invite over playable sims from directly adjacent properties (including across the street) since they just have to walk next door.
  • May invite over any paranormal sim (vampire, werewolf, alien, robot, plantsim)
  • Sims may not invite over sims that cannot travel (such as teens or elders with <10 Body)


  • Cannot purchase small appliances (Culinary)
  • When lifted, each day one random zombie (townie or playable) will die

Natural Science

  • To reflect protection against the dust storms and poison gasses, putting some sims in flight goggles (in game) or surgeon's masks (not sure where I got these) adds color. The ninja hoods look pretty good with some outfits, especially when combined with the goggles.
  • PROPOSED RULE - The "one meal per day" limitation is moved here instead of Culinary.


  • Tombstones and urns may be moved, but must be placed near the bedrooms (for maximum ghost annoyance). They cannot be moved off lot or placed in inventory, but may be placed on tables, etc. to keep them out of the way. They may be moved as desired, but must always be placed near the primary sleeping area.
  • Zombies, both playables and townies, cannot be interacted with in a friendly or neutral way. This means no influence, shooing, calling over, or other such useful interactions. If a zombie is using something you want to use, you have to use "Argue" or something equivalent to distract them. After Paranormal is lifted, zombies can be interacted with normally but all playable zombies must be placed in the townie pool.
  • When lifted, zombies can now be interacted with but even playable zombies cannot be directly controlled.


  • While a sim is at the top of the Music career, each household may buy ONE musical instrument. Once the sim leaves the Music career the restrictions return, but musical instruments that were purchased during this period may still be used. They may not be replaced (unless a sim is still at the top of the Music career) if destroyed in a fire, stolen by a burglar (even if caught), etc.

Show Business

  • Sims may use mirror to change appearance, but only to make them look more ragged. Men with Neat<8 should have stubble and women with Outgoing<8 should have no makeup. Sloppy or simple hairstyles are encouraged.
  • Even when lifted, Use Acne Cream also requires Medical
  • Sims may purchase wardrobes but may not wear any stylish or expensive clothing (player judgement call). This includes formal, PJs, and so on.


  • See Artist for clarification on the musical instrument limitation that is temporarily lifted while a sim is at the top of the Music career.
  • If after Music is lifted, another sim gets to the top of the Music career and Artist is still in force, the musical instruments are again temporarily lifted.
  • Eternal winter means eternal snow, so use the Lot Debugger to keep the snow level at maximum. This means lots of snow days so be prepared.
  • It's cold outside, so sims should dress appropriately. Long sleeves, no shorts, pants rather than skirts for women, winter hats, etc. all add to the "eternal winter" theme. Shades to protect from snow blindness should be common too.


  • Sims can use phone in the following cases:

    • Apply for scholarships or move to college
    • Invite over sims who live in adjacent properties (simulates going next door to get them)
    • If sim has car, can invite over anyone who could normally be invited over (simulates going to get them in the car).

Service Animal

  • If both Service Animal and Medical are restricted, townie elders die immediately upon reaching elder. If either one is lifted, townie elders live half the normal elder period.

Show Business Animal

  • Children and teens may study skills that are not fun if it satisfies a want or a Lifetime Want. For example, a teen who has the LTW to be Captain Hero could study Body because that is a necessary skill to be Captain Hero.

Security Animal

  • Normal sims cannot sleep in bed with energy above the maximum energy. The maximum energy is 5, adjusted by –1 if Business is still restricted and another –2 if Law Enforcement is restricted.
  • This restriction is ignored for non-human sims (vampires, zombies, werewolves, aliens, plantsims) and any sim with Body 10. Note that if Business is still restricted, even these people can use beds only of energy 4 or less.
  • Vampires can always use coffins even if Business is not lifted, but other sims may not until both Security and Business are lifted.
  • When lifted, if Business is still restricted, maximum bed energy is still 4 (regardless of Law Enforcement). When both Security Animal and Business are lifted, any bed may be purchased.
  • On the day Security Animal is lifted, any beds may be sold and new, higher energy beds bought to replace them (as long as they meet the maximum energy limitations) even if Business is still restricted. This reflects that people are sleeping easier. This option is available only on this first day.