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Now You Look Human:
Milieu Integration in 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons
  Several of the races normally found in the various AD&D settings will under at least some circumstances and to at least some other characters appear quite human.  Of course, some of these might--or might not--be recognized or at least suspected by those from their own milieu.  But how will they be perceived by others?

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  This material covers information on how to integrate characters of different races and classes from the various worlds of 1st Ed. AD&D, expanded to include a few notes from second edition materials which are easily integrated with these.  Over the course of several pages, it will consider how the setting can be designed so that each milieu is adequately represented, how the races and classes from each milieu will initially view those from other settings unknown to them, and how to handle the specific problems of classes and races which require special game mechanics or are treated in a customary manner in their own world (whether respected, hated, or understood) which would not be presumed by those unfamiliar with those customs.  This page discusses non-human races which appear human, to explain how these races will be perceived initially by those unfamiliar with them.  Other pages are linked from the bottom of this one.
  The races which need to be considered include one from each of the settings included--Half-Orcs from the Occident, Hengeyokai from the Orient, Irda from Krynn, and Trollborn from the Vikings.
 Although seldom played that way, it is clear from the rules that player character Half-Orcs are among the 10% of that race able to pass for Human--indeed, it is the best argument in favor of playing this short-lived race with such strict advancement limits.  Although they tend to be stocky and unattractive, they don't look particularly inhuman, and will be viewed as Occidental Humans by all races, including those of the Occident, and including other Half-Orcs.  Of course, those who are multi-classed, reveal their infravisional abilities, or otherwise exhibit abilities which distinguish them will have to announce that they are something else.  How other milieus will respond to this is discussed later.

  Footnote:  In Advanced Dungeons & Dragons™ in the original edition, half-orcs were smaller than humans but larger than elves, with very human features.  The new third edition of the game abandons this oft-overlooked aspect, making them larger, evidently more powerful, and at least somewhat monstrous in appearance, such that no one would mistake a half-orc for a human.  In this respect, they are more akin to half-ogres.  The reasons for playing such a creature are very different.
 Trollborn similarly look human enough, and given that their existence is at best a rumor among non-Vikings they will almost always be taken for Human.  Even Vikings, even other Trollborn, will not immediately recognize them, although their generally large size, strength, and constitution may create suspicion.  They are, of course, Viking Human in appearance.  Under MyWorld rules, they also have infravision, although this is the only distinguishing characteristic which would require explanation.
 Hengeyokai in Human form cannot be distinguished from Oriental Humans.  Although they always have a distinguishing feature, the DM should refrain from describing this if he is not providing full descriptions of all characters.  Not even other Hengeyokai can spot one of their own.  In MyWorld, Hengeyokai player characters always begin as Human (unless there is a special reason to do otherwise, such as a mystery option circumstance).  Since the only distinguishing abilities this race has while in human form are the ability to speak to Hengeyokai, the ability to understand animals, and the ability to change to one of the other forms, they are unlikely to be discovered until they choose to reveal their identities.
 Irda have the unique shape change ability, and will be seen as whatever they choose.  Although Silvanesti is the common first choice, Human is an option, and as such the Irda would appear Human.  Although an Irda who begins with Human as an optional skill will appear Krynnish, an Irda may learn to appear as any sub-race of humans once exposed to them.  The DM may require these distinct sub-races to be learned as separate proficiencies, as he would with other Elven sub-races.  MyWorld Irda begin in shape-changed form unless they choose otherwise.
  The perception of each of these races once identified as non-human may be distinct.  Check the information on cross-cultural race perceptions on other pages of this site.



Sections of this site will continue to address these areas:

The Frontier:  M. J. Young suggests how to explain the presence of characters from multiple AD&D settings in one place, and provide support structures for them, based on the concept of the New World.

Here-->Now You Look Human:  Some demi-human races will be perceived as human under certain circumstances; which ones, when, and by whom are all important questions, addressed here.

When Worlds Collide:  Each of the standard settings in AD&D contains cultural nuances which result in attitudes and perspectives which will come into play as the player characters interact with each other and those around them.

You Don't Look Elvish:  How races are perceived by those in other milieus is discussed in some detail.

A Nice Kid Like You:  Some races pose particular problems related to explaining their presence in a new land.  Those problems are addressed.

A Class Act:  Problems and motivations of particular classes are discussed and resolved.

All In the Mind:  Second Edition Psionics may be integrated into a First Edition campaign if desired, bringing the Psionicist class and the Wild Talent into play alongside Natural Psionics.


Other Signficant Pages

M. J. Young's Dungeons & Dragons Materials:
The home page of this site, collected papers from the table of a gamer who began as a DM in 1980, including resource materials, special rules, articles, and BASIC programs to smooth both play and preparation.

Character Creation for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons First Edition:
Called a life saver by more than one DM, the materials M. J. Young has developed to enable players to create characters have been posted and expanded for others.  When a game is beginning or a player is joining, this site is the place to start.

Martial Arts Rules for Role Playing Games:
For Oriental characters, this site explains and expands the 1st Ed. AD&D martial arts materials, including a large and varied selection of compatible styles, and also presenting similar materials for the Multiverser game.

Multiverser Information Center:
The role playing game which truly integrates all milieus, all worlds, and all other role playing games is presented and described here.  It's worth a look.

Questions may be directed to the author of these pages.