For the first generation, full skills are normal, level them up as far as you can. Part skills may only go up to level five. Now, I realize that this is kind of hard—you can’t really stop learning some of them, and there is no cheat to change skill levels. Below is a more in depth explanation of all of them. Also, keep in mind that for all purposes where the skills matter, if their limit is supposed to be five, and they have seven, pretend that they have five. The number you use is either the number they have or their limit, whichever is smaller. Makes sense?
Also, one more general rule: If you have someone who has reached their limit and someone who hasn’t but can use the skill, use the one who hasn’t if at all possible to do the task you are trying to do.
If you start the game with no one with the cooking skill, you can’t cook! You’ll have to eat uncooked fruits and vegetables until you get someone who can. For partial skills, after you reach level five, you may not study cooking, watch cooking television, or read recipes books past level five. You may, however, continue to cook. If you reach level six, for every five meals that character makes they must make one to just throw out. That is the penalty for being over. Level seven, four normal meals, one to throw out. Level eight, three normal meals, one to throw out. Level nine, two normal meals, one to throw out, and level ten, one for one.
This one should be pretty easy to avoid gaining once you hit the limit, so just do that.
Similar to cooking, if this is a partial skill, then if you reach level six, for every five fish that are caught and sold or cooked with, one must just be thrown out. Level seven, one for every four fish, and so forth. Also, again, books that are for level six and above cannot be read.
If you reach level six, then for every five produce, one must be thrown out. Then continue like cooking and fishing.
This one is a bit more difficult, because it doesn’t give anything that can be penalized. I guess all I can say is if you have another sim that can do handiness but hasn’t reached their limit, do it with them instead. Also, only do upgrades that become available at or before level five, no matter the level you are at (If it is a part skill, of course). You can use Carl’s sims 3 guide to determine which upgrades those are.
Just don’t do it after you reach your top level. Pretty simple!
Most of this can be avoided after you reach your top level, also. If you want to be searching the galaxies with a telescope, then use the rule for cooking and fishing. At level six, after five, take the money out for one with the family funds cheat, or spend it on something and place the object in the family inventory, not to be used.
For every four art pieces you create, you can only sell one of them. The others can be used as decorations, or put in the family inventory, not to be used again. It is a slow way of making money, but at least it will give you some! Once you reach level six, you may only sell one out of five. Seven is still one out of five. Eight and nine is one out of six, and ten is one out of seven. Painting can be substituted with sculpting if you have ambitions.
This works much like painting does, except a little different since you don’t have the option to not sell a book. The first time you write, you can click ‘write novel’, but the second, third, and fourth you must just practice writing. Then you can work on novel again, then practice, practice, practice, then novel. No practicing for only a few minutes before cancelling it, that is considered cheating! Let them write as long as you usually would. Also, within a day or two of finishing your novel, you need to have someone leave the lot, presumably to go ‘sell’ it, since there is no internet to do that with. This can, of course, be combined with a normal outing!
Guitar, Charisma, Riding, and Collecting
These may all be skilled freely. Keep in mind, though—you can’t really leave to meet people for Charisma, and there is no internet. You can’t freely leave to collect, so you might not want to do it often. You can play guitar, but you can’t leave to play for tips.