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All in the Mind:
Milieu Integration in 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons
  First edition AD&D included an appendix on psionics, which characters had a very small chance of having as an innate ability.  Second edition eliminated these powers, but then reintroduced them in a new context, the Psionicst class, with a new set of mechanics.  It is not impossible to integrate the two systems.

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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 psionics, which were introduced in First Edition, but were re-introduced in a new form including a Psionicist class in Second Edition.  Ideas for integrating the two forms are given here.  Other pages are linked from the bottom of this one.
  The Player's Handbook includes an appendix on Psionics as an optional expansion of the first edition rules.  Any character might be born with these psionic abilities, which would give him special talents useful in combat and in exploration; the gods had such powers, and a growing number of monsters were released with skills in this area.  Skills always included attacks (mostly limited to use against other psionic characters and creatures) and defenses (which only protected against psionic attacks), along with sciences and devotions which provided a wide variety of tricks for many purposes.  Characters quickly learned that one of the best uses for a "wish" was to wish for psionic abilities, which would often give the character new powers available for the remainder of his life.  For most skills, success was "automatic"--it would do what it was designed to do without a roll, provided the character had enough "strength points" to use it.  Characters often had hundreds of strength points, and could restore them to full with a night's rest.  In the minds of many players and DM's, these psionics tended to unbalance the game--those who had them were extremely powerful--and they were not included in the original second edition materials.
  Second Edition released "The Complete Psionics Handbook", which reintroduced psionics in a new package.  Under these rules, one can be a "Psionicist", trained in mental techniques.  As such, you begin with a science and a couple of related devotions, along with a defense.  As you advance in level, you increase devotions, sciences, and defense modes, and at the same time expand the variety of such abilities.  You would never obtain all of the abilities, but you would ultimately have more skills than could be possessed under the old system.  Attacks and defenses are now sciences and devotions, learned and numbered among these, except that the defenses are given special allowances.  At the same time, the success of these skills is no longer automatic.  Much as a non-weapon proficiency, the player must roll against an ability score, often with a penalty; and there are risks involved if the character fails as well as costs in terms of the now more limited supply of strength points, some of which will be expended whether or not the attempt is successful.  The number of strength points gradually increases with level, but it is not normally possible to have a hundred points before level 7, and since they are tied to ability scores most psionicists will have fewer.  It is possible for some non-human races to be dual-classed as fighters or thieves.
  The Psionics Handbook also allowed other characters to have such abilities, under the concept of the "wild talent".  These characters take a serious risk in attempting to do what the psionicist does without the training and direction of the class's instructors.  If a character fails, he may permanently do serious damage to his ability scores.  If he succeeds, he gains one random ability.  Although the risks are great, the power may be acquired without resorting to powerful magic, and so has some appeal to players who trust their dice luck.
  In the MyWorld campaign, all three forms of psionics are permitted.  A character may roll for "natural" psionics, as described in the Player's Handbook.  He may choose to be a Psionicist (or a multi-classed Psionicist/Thief or Thief-Acrobat or Fighter/Psionicist if Halfling or Dwarf) as described in the Psionics Handbook.  He may take the risks of attempting to develop psionic powers as a "wild talent", also under second edition rules.  A few simple rules make them compatible.
  The DM must first understand that many things in second edition use the same names as first edition to mean different things.  Most notably, the word "discipline" in first edition referred generally to sciences and devotions, while in second edition it refers to categories of ability related by type.  Psionic Strength, measured in points in first edition, is used somewhat differently from Psionic Strength Points in second edition.  Second edition attacks do very different things from first edition attacks, and second edition defenses have a lot less variety in effects, although all carry the same names.  Some of the first edition disciplines have been recreated in second edition in an attenuated version, sometimes split into two or more abilities, sometimes rewritten in a different way.  Do not assume that you understand any skill from one version based on its description in the other.  You cannot integrate these abilities without a copy of both the first edition Player's Handbook and the second edition Psionics Handbook.
  What do you gain if you're running a first edition game and you add the Psionics Handbook material?  The Psionicist class is the most valuable addition from the materials; it's interesting, flexible, and reasonably potent, and will add quite a bit to any campaign.  The low number of PSP's at low levels prevent it from being overpowering, while the concept that it can have several abilities from which to choose, and can re-use the same abilities without re-learning, give it an interesting level of flexibility.  (A sketch of the Psionicist class is available on my Character Creation web site, as well as a list of the abilities and information about the initial power of the character.)  At the same time, one of the most unbalancing things which can happen in a campaign is for a character to suddenly gain a full contingent of psionic abilities based on first edition rules upon making a wish; the effect of wishes for psionics on the character can be significantly reduced by using the "wild talent" rules whenever they would be appropriate.  I'm a firm believer that a character cannot wish for what he does not know, and I interpret the wording of wishes very strictly.  A character who wishes that he could do this or that like another character need not end up with a full set of psionics if a single talent will do the trick.  Having the Psionics Handbook integrated in the game makes it feasible to allow such single skills simply.
  Psionic combat is not very frequent in most campaigns.  The real power and advantage of psionics lies in its use as "tricks" which help in the adventure or sometimes facilitate physical combat.  Since those things are well defined for each type of psionics, they become part of the scenario entirely unaltered.  Whatever a natural could do he does the same way whether there are psionicists or not; whatever a psionicist can do is unaffected by the existence of naturals.  What the psionicist lacks in power he amply compensates for in variety.  Although not as limited as the wild talent, the natural is something of a one-trick pony by comparison despite the power and reliability of his abilities.
  Psionic combat poses a few challenges, but these are easily met.  All naturals have at least one attack and two defenses, and may have as many as all five attacks and defenses on good rolls; Psionicists always begin with at least one defense, but will only have attacks if they choose Telepathy as a discipline and further select an attack as a science or devotion.  Wild talents generally have only one ability, which might be anything; but they are extremely unlikely to have an attack and a defense.  Attacks and defenses are not identical, but they are quite similar and understood to be doing the same thing in practice.  The purpose of attacks is also very different between the forms.  Natural psionics attack for the purpose of wearing down and destroying the opponent.  Psionicists attack primarily to break down resistance to "contact", necessary for the performance of a variety of telepathic skills which are usually possessive or controlling in nature.  But the matter is easily resolved.
  Whenever a character launches a psionic attack against another character, he attacks according to the rules for his form of psionics.  If the opponent does have psionic abilities but doesn't have or use a psionic defense, he is treated as a defenseless psionic would be under the rules which control that attack form; a character without psionics is also treated as the rules for that attack form specify, for a non-psionic defender.  So the problem which arises comes in when two psionic characters from different systems engage in combat against each other; and the solution is not difficult at all.  Whenever such combat is joined, each attacks under the rules for his own system; each activates defenses according to the rules for his own system.  But the effects of any defense against any attack are as defined by the attacker's system, not the defenders.  This gives each attacker the expected advantage of his attack, and provides an appropriate protection for any defense used.
  As discussed in the Character Creation materials, a character can possess multiple types of psionics.  A Psionicist may not also be a Wild Talent, but he could have been born with Natural Psionics; such a character would regard his Natural talents an undisciplined and dangerous mental aberration, and would have the same attitude toward any other non-psionicist using any type of psionic abilities.  He would use his own natural abilities only in the most dire circumstances.  Natural and Psionicist abilities would be recorded and tracked separately, even if they included the same skills.  A Natural could also become a Wild Talent under those rules, and use wild skills under the psionics handbook rules.
  There is another detail which should be considered:  what does a character get in response to a wish?  I have several notions on this which may prove useful.  First, as mentioned, no character has any knowledge or experience in psionics before the game begins, unless he is a psionicist or rolls natural psionics; thus no character can wish for psionic powers specifically unless he encounters someone who has them.  Second, just because a character sees someone use a mind trick doesn't mean that he understands the contents of the psionics rules--they only know that you can do the one trick, and cannot wish for more.  Third, if the character wishes for something which can be done by psionics (intending to end-run the restriction), the referee is free to consider whether it can be done another way, such as through the possession of a magic item.  A Wand of Magic Detection is a satisfactory answer to a wish to detect magic, if the character can use it.  There is no intrinsic reason why such powers cannot be conferred through special magic items, such as one-of-a-kind rings, so that the character has the ability without having the psionics.  Fourth, a character who wishes to be able to "do that" should be restricted to gaining a single skill as a wild talent, regardless of the manner in which it was done by the person he saw do it.  A character cannot reasonably wish to have all the abilities of a Psionicist if he is unable to become one (although the Hat of Difference in the BD&D Book of Marvelous Magic can be an interesting response to such a wish); such a wish could in theory eliminate all of the character's abilities in his original class and convert him to a Psionicist of the same level, if the DM cares for the work involved.  It is theoretically possible to wish for Natural Psionics, although the wish would have to be based on contact with a character or creature who had such abilities and would have to be very carefully phrased.  Such a wish would result in the referee determining psionic abilities just as if the player had made a successful roll for Natural Psionics during the character creation phase--the player would have little control over which psionic ability his character acquired.
  If the character already has some form of psionics but wishes for more, there are a few considerations.  It is normal for characters with Natural psionics to gain additional abilities which are natural psionics.  A character can wish for any specific attack or defense which he has encountered in any form, one wish per such ability, until he has all five of each; he may also wish for a randomly determined additional attack or defense--if he happens to wish for more than there are, this wish should be deflected into a science or devotion which has attack (domination) or defensive (mind bar) properties.  Natural psionics may also be increased by the number of sciences or devotions, again one per wish.  The book appears to limit player characters to not more than two sciences and five devotions, but since it is possible to roll "two minor" as one science, the combinations one science with seven devotions and no sciences with nine devotions are possible, provided that the "two minor" option is either rolled or selected as choice on a roll of "select one".  No wish can increase Natural Psionics beyond these limits without creating an insanity.  Any additional abilities wished will come as "Wild Talents", under those rules.
  No Psionicist would ever wish for either a Wild Talent or Natural Psionics; cursed with such a thing, he would only use it if facing certain death, and even then with reluctance.  A Psionicist regards such powers as things to be meticulously studied and mastered through training and practice, and very dangerous if acquired or exercised under any other circumstances.  If a Psionicist character suggests making such a wish, the DM should warn the player, explaining this; if the player insists, the wish should be granted, but the character should be docked at least two levels, and all training times (and expenses) doubled until the lost levels are recovered, and all grades related to the wish and on any adventure on which the magically-acquired abilities are used should be 4 (that is, the worst possible), since both the acquisition and the use of such skills by a psionicist would be entirely contrary to the mindset of his class.  Note that a psionicist is not penalized for possessing such skills before becoming a psionicist--that is, if rolled during character creation or obtained by a character who subsequently changes classes to psionicist; however, the use of such skills by the psionicist, even at great need, should result in a lower grade for that adventure.
  This should make it possible to use second edition psionics within a first edition game without any major complications.


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.

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.

Here-->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.