Superscience

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Superscience, as defined by the IISS, is any technology that does not conform to IISS Technology Level schema or conventional understandings of science.

Description / Specifications[edit]

Superscience, as defined by advanced IISS protocol often indicates devices that were designed with prototype sciences ahead of their expected TL development bracket, OR technological items or artifacts designed by creators with technology greater than the TL-15 standards of Charted Space.

History & Background / Dossier[edit]

No information yet available.

GURPS Superscience[edit]

Superscience is a term GURPS 4e uses for technology that violates our current understanding of physical laws (relativity, conservation of energy, etc.) and doesn't exist with that definition in the Classic Traveler setting. GURPS 3e used TL(x+y) for both realistic and superscience alternative technology; a tradition unfortunately carried over into GURPS 4e.

Ideally superscience should be denoted with a "^" in GURPS 4e. Because this technology is supposedly impossible it is effectively outside the normal TL scale meaning any TL the ^ is associated with is arbitrary.

For example, FTL travel can be TL6^, TL(6+4)^, TL10^ or something else entirely depending on the setting. This is why broadcast power has two totally different TLs in G4: TL6^ (Infinite Worlds, Gernsback) and TL10^ (Ultra-Tech).

Superscience in GURPS can also be used to explain technology way in advance of what the TL would otherwise imply. For example, the reality Britannica-5 has antimatter bombs which are normally TL10 on the GURPS TL scale but are instead said to be TL5^ (GURPS Infinite Worlds-Lost Worlds pg 6)

G4TL Transportation Weapons and Armor Power Biotechnology/Medicine
^ Reactionless thrust; contragravity; faster-than-light (FTL) travel; matter transmission; parachronic technology; time machines. Monomolecular blades; force-field technology; gravitic weapons; nuclear dampers; disintegrators. Broadcast power; cold fusion; zero-point energy; total conversion; cosmic power. Fast-growth clone tanks; psi drugs; regeneration ray.

Some other examples of TLx^ (from GURPS Ultra Tech) are: Cosmic Power Cells (TL12^); Holoprojection (TL10^); Contragrav (CG) Flier (TL11^); Gravity-Ripple Communicators (TL10^/11^); Mental Translator (TL12^); Gravscanners (TL9/11^); Timescanner (TL9^/11^); Rigid Dyson Sphere (TL12^) and Ringworld (TL12^)

Some technologies can be superscience depending on how they work. Macrohabitats are TL10 if they involve microgravity but TL10^ if they involve contragrav generators.

A Classic Dyson Sphere is TL11 but the more advanced Rigid Dyson Sphere and Ringworld are superscience.

References & Contributors / Sources[edit]

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This article was copied or excerpted from the following copyrighted sources and used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author.

  • GURPS 4e Basic Set pg 512
  • GURPS 4e Ultra Tech
  • Author & Contributor: Bruce G.
  • Author & Contributor: Lord (Marquis) and Master of Sophontology Maksim-Smelchak of the Ministry of Science