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When Worlds Collide:
Milieu Integration in 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons
  There are certain general features of each culture which permit us to generalize attitudes between them.  Thus initial reactions of Occidentals and Orientals and the other groups to each other may be controlled by these perceptions.

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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 cultural attitudes to other milieus, to understand generally how characters will interact.  Other pages are linked from the bottom of this one.

  I make it a point to inform players of their character's perceptions of the other player characters (and critical non-player characters) as the game begins--what do you see when you look at this person?  How does your character interpret this?  It is often stated merely by the setting from which they are drawn--where Krynners see a Silvanesti, Occidentals see an unfamiliar variety of elf, and Orientals and Vikings see...well, details will follow.  Some characters will require individual information concerning their attitudes and perceptions, and printouts or file cards work well for this.  But we'll start here with the generalizations, and then move on to the particulars of each race or class which needs to be considered.  (Mercifully, not all races and certainly not all classes need individual consideration.)  Here, then, are our major settings--Occidental, Oriental, Krynn, and Viking, along with the Underdark characters--and their attitudes to each other.
 Occidentals tend to believe everyone is like them, and treat all other groups as akin to themselves, but for Underdark races (treated separately).  They will express surprise at cultural and racial differences, but tend to treat people of all cultures as individuals, based more on apparent class and abilities and attitudes.
 All Orientals regard themselves members of a superior culture, and hold a certain disdain of others.  This varies with class and social status.  A first rank Samurai would not speak to non-orientals, prefering if possible to limit conversation to other Samurai, Kensai, Monks, Sohei, Shukenja, and non-chaotic Bushi, and certain noble or wealthy (often the same thing) non-adventuring Orientals.  (On the other hand, an outcast Yakuza may perceive occidental culture as an opportunity to advance himself, and so keep his snobbery concealed.)  Many Orientals, especially Samurai, have a hatred of Ninja, and will kill anyone they believe to be one.  Exercise of thief skills in itself will create suspicion, but is insufficient to draw conclusions (there are other oriental thieves).
 Apart from specific racial and class attitudes, Krynn characters are more like Occidentals than not.  However, most Krynn characters believe that the Krynn gods are the only gods, and this makes them dubious of non-Krynn clerics of all types.  Similarly, the Wizards of High Sorcery have created an attitude that alignment is less important than affiliation with a robe, so Krynns will be somewhat distrustful of "wild mages", including psionicists.
 Vikings love to fight, and can relate to anyone who shares that view.  Although there are Viking thieves, even Vikings consider them cowardly, and the thieves tend to evaluate people (even thieves) based on their combat prowess.  They are also suspicious of all forms of magic--even their own Runecasters mystify and at times frighten them.  They will be cautious of any cleric or magic-using class, even of psionicists.
 Underdark characters tend to be defensive.  After all, nearly all Drow and Duergar are evil, and those who are not are usually assumed to be, at least by Occidentals (who form the largest populations near underdark entrances--which explains why they are only known in the Occidental setting).  As to Svirfneblin, although not generally evil, they suffer by association (being from the evil underdark); and being reclusive as a whole does not help to dispel this perception.  However, Underdarkers react as individuals.  Some become bold heroes, trying to overcome the stigma by personal reputation.  Others seek ways to hide their identities, such as the cavalier who never raised her visor in company (her companions believed she was concealing the fact that she was female) or the magic-users who purchased full-face masks (which doesn't fool companions, but delays recognition in encounter situations).  Still others become withdrawn and defensive, ready to fight at a moment's notice.  However, those who are not evil are looking for friends (although doubting that they will find any), and regard all other characters more on the basis of the treatment received rather than by any racial or class-based prejudices.
  Note that specific racial or class-based prejudices will override these generalizations.



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.

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.

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.