The Caste System: An Overview

I don't know how confusing this gets to be (if it ever gets to be confusing) but here is a little blurb to help demystify the caste system. The hierarchy (as I'm sure you realize) works this way:

Full Caste
High Caste
Mid Caste
Low Caste
Wealthy Townsman
Low Income/Middle Income Townsman

From the family tree:

The Simcity Caste System was codified in December of 1915. It was ratified by the House of Lords at Ethelden Palace on June 3, 1916 and went into effect on April 15, 1917. All persons born on or after this date were assigned castes in accordance with their birth (leisure or labor), occupation and household finances. All born into the labor class were assigned the caste of "Townsman". This term was chosen as a neutral descriptor for the poor, who by enlarge lived in urban settings due to the industrial boom. Previously, laborers were assigned limited voting rights dependent upon their performance on a written examination. 83% of the labor class did not have the ability to read or write in 1917, a percentage that remained fairly constant between The Local Polity Act of 1854 (which allowed for local governments elected by the people) and the ratification of The Social Partitioning Act that made the caste system law.

Full Caste Residents are at least 3rd generation Residents (of whatever area they live in) whose parents are both high or full caste. If a person is born full caste then they will always be considered full caste. No matter what you do or whom you marry, you will always be full caste. There is no room to move about the cabin.

High Caste Residents can have any number of generations under their belts and their parents can have been any caste. In some rare instances, even someone who was born a Townie can be considered high caste (JL's parents, for example). Money is the big determining factor here. Secondary to that is marriage. Occupation can also play a role in whether or not a person is considered to be high caste. If you head a big company (like Dina does) or you're just generally a hot-shot professional (like Troy) then this is a big leg up towards being considered high caste, regardless of what you were born.

Mid Caste Residents are generally Residents that make a modest wage and live comfortably. This is the widest, most open caste and contains Residents from all sorts of family backgrounds. From a social point of view, this is probably the most ideal position that a person can occcupy. Mid caste Residents live well and don't have to worry about the social pressures of the elite or the economic hardships of the poor. A mid caste Resident can basically marry whomever she wants to. If they choose to marry someone of a lower class then no one shuns them. If they decide to marry someone of a higher class, then they are most always accepted into the fold. They are for the most part well-educated and can pursue whatever occupation they want to. A win/win situation.

Low Caste Residents are low-income Residents. Most of them are Townie-born though some families (like the Brokes) have been around for many generations.

Townsmen are not Residents at all. Before the caste system, there were only two classes of people- Labor and Leisure. The Townsmen (or Townies) are the descendants of the Labor class. They live in segregated enclaves. Most of them work for very minute wages. They do not have the legal right to vote, hold property, work in public office or marry (unless they are very lucky and a Resident wishes to marry them). Their children attend the same schools as the Residents but are taught in separate classrooms. They go to the same hosipitals but are often denied care (if a Resident has need, regardless of the urgency of that need, then they are always given preference). Socially, they are not even supposed to stare at a Resident too hard, let alone talk to the Residents.

A Townsman can become a Resident if one of the following conditions is met:

1) A Resident will testify in court to the fact that the Townsman is his son/daughter. Nowadays, this is also subject to a DNA test. Many Townsmen do have Residents for biological fathers but their fathers would never in a million years claim them publically.

2) If it is proven that a Townsman is the son/daughter of a Resident and that Townsman is a minor (under the age of 14) then his/her mother is also elevated to Resident status. This is what happened to Troy's mother.

3) If a Townsman marries a Resident, then that Townsman is automatically elevated to Resident status.

4) If a Townsman lives at a Resident's address for 5 years, then that Townsman is elligible to become a Resident. This happens most frequently to boarding house tennants like Jack. But it also happens to live-in maids and nannies like Haven's mother.

5) If a Townsman lives at a Resident's address for 3 months, various prominant Residents give character references in court and certain hefty terrifs are paid, then that Townsman can become a Resident. This last one is often done on the sly. Not a common practice and even though it is perfectly legal, it is normally seen as being a little shady. This is what happened to the Bennett family that works and lives at Tellerman Farm.

And I know I said that I wouldn't be online while I was away but I just couldn't help myself. :p


  1. Ohhhh!! Okay, okay! I get the break down! *nodding head energetically here* Thanks a bunch Penelope! Makes perfect sense to me now! LOL!

    And I said I wasn't going to be on the computer yesterday but look what happened! :P

  2. Ha! Telling yourself (and occasionally others) that you're not going to do something that you're in the habit of doing is often a way to ensure that you're going to do it. :D

  3. Hey Pen, this doesn't really have much to do with this post, but I figured you'd probably be able to answer this question, so I tried to find a post where this would seem kind of semi-relevant.

    I'm guessing you're familiar with most of the Maxis townies and NPCs, since some of them are in your characters' family trees. Of all of them, which ones do you think are the most realistic looking? I made a village on a 5x5 and am in need of at least seven more people to fill it with, and I want to try to avoid making new sims if I can, but some of those townies and NPCs are so impossibly ugly...

  4. Hmm well I can only think of a few, unfortunately. I have a habit of incorporating the fugly townies and downtownies. I was even planning on pulling Goopy Gilscarbo into Blue Lake at one point. Then I thought better of it. But not because of his ugly.

    Forgive me if some of these are downtownies and not townies. But here's who comes to mind:

    Troy's mom, Jan Tellerman. She has good-looking kids too (in my experience):

    She wears the outfit pictured but has different hair.

    There are several Ivy Copurs in the game but there is one that looks like this:

    Kennedy Cox (right):

    Then there's this maid who I think is in every neighborhood but for sure is in Pleasantview:

    What I would do is just to summon some random townies to the lot and check them out. If they work, then add them to the family to make them completely playable. If not, just send them on their merry way.

    Hope this helps! :)

  5. "WAIT!!! I HAVE A BETTER IDEA," says Penelope one million years later.

    What you should do is this:

    boolprop testingcheatsenabled true (either when you're on the desired lot or in the neighborhood screen)

    Once you're on the lot, press SHIFT and click on the mailbox. You will be given the option to "Make Me Know Everyone". Click it! Then your selected sim will know all of the Townies and NPCs in your game. Which means that you will be able to see thumbnail pictures of everyone before you invite them over or summon them with Insim.

  6. Excellent! Thank you so much! Sorry for totally spamming your blog :(

  7. No problemo. If you ever have simming questions or whatever, I'm always here to share my semi-wisdom!

  8. Ok, this clears a lot up. I love the rules you have set up for the townies to qualify for Resident.

    Did this system develop as you were playing or was this something you decreed one day?

  9. That's a good question. I think it just slowly developed as I played the game. Before I started writing this story, I was thinking about characters and plots but not committing anything to paper (er- you know what I mean). It was distant enough in the past that I don't really remember where the caste system started. It might have begun with a sim that I had in my former incarnation of the game called Veronica German who was hell-bent on social climbing.

  10. Hmmm, you've got a bit of a Metropolis theme going on here

  11. A very, very brief history of the Caste System is now available on the family tree. You can find it here. Password: Pleasantview