Tech Level Comparison Chart
Please refer to the following AAB library articles for related information:
- 1 Description (Specifications)
- 2 History & Background (Dossier)
- 3 References & Contributors / Sources
Technology Comparison Tables: These Tech Level ratings are described in the three tables below. The TL's cover three different systems:
- TTL: Traveller Technology Level = For Classic Traveller and most successors.
- G3TL: GURPS 3rd Edition Technology Level.
- G4TL: GURPS 4th Edition Technology Level.
GURPS Traveller Notes
With the GURPS 3rd Edition book Steampunk, the concept of divergent technology was added.
Example: TL(5+1) is a TL6, with historical Earth-like TL5, but somewhat different TL6 (same effects, different form). Characters not used to divergent technology suffer a -2 penalty. The closet real world example is Edison's 1896 Kinetophone (called a Speaking Mutoscope in SteamTech pg 52) at TL(5+1) when contrasted to Lauste's 1907 sound on film method at TL6. (The first uses mechanical means so common to TL5 to sync picture and sound while the second uses electrical means that would be common in TL6.)
GURPS 4th Edition expanded on this with the addition of the superscience (^) category and the concepts: borderline, split, and familiar technologies. It also eliminated the end date that TLs originally had allowing for a G4TL8 computer to be connected to a G4TL7 power grid that has a handful of still operational G4TL6 power plants.
Superscience involves technologies that violate our current understanding of physical laws (relativity, conservation of energy, etc.). For this reason any TL assigned to them is arbitrary. So 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). For example, Azoth-7 is a G4TL(4+2) reality that has G4TL4^ interstellar space travel which is normally an 11 on the GURPS 4e TL scale. Similarly many D&D worlds are G4TL(3+3)^ - effectively TL6 that thanks to magic diverged at TL3; in the Spelljammer setting the "^" denotes manned interplanetary space flight which is normally an 9 on the GURPS 4e TL scale.
Since Jump drive is a form of FTL technology it gets a "^" and gives no indication on what the over G4TL is, so while Jump drive tends to appear at G4TL9 that doesn't prevent an otherwize TL7 culture from developing Jump drive. For example, Homeline, a G4TL8-9^ reality of GURPS Infinite Worlds has access to pocket and parallel universes which is Traveler TL 25. Then there is Engstrom, a G4TL6^ reality that has created permanent access to eight other parallel universes (which are collectively known as the Nine Worlds).
It should be noted not all GURPS 4e (or Powered by GURPS) books use the TL scale correctly so they are not always a good benchmark for where a technology is on the scale. For example, GURPS Prime Directive (a classic Star Trek setting ie TOS) highballed the TLs for G3 and continued using that scale for the G4 edition totally messing up the TLs as a result.
Using the GURPS 3e books themselves TOS was all over the TL9-11 range for Weapons & Armor, a firm TL9 for Transportation (the transporter is a TL14 oddball), Antimatter was in the 10-12 range and Medicine was TL8. In GURPS 4e TOS is a mixture of TL6^ and (6+3)^ with some Power TL(6+4)^ thrown in
EU Star Wars is G4TL8^ and nearly all pre 1940s science fiction is G4TL6^ with the occasional higher TL appearing.
Using science fiction novels as TL inspiration has its own pitfalls. Even "hard" science fiction stories may be hampered by assumption of the time that turned out to be wrong. For example, Weinbaum's 1930s "Planetary series" is G4TL(6+3)^ as it was based on then current theories of the solar system which have since been shown to be wrong (hence the "^").
- Rows of Technologies that are a mixture of "real" science and superscience will have the lowest G4TL for the nonsuperscience items combined with "^".
- When technologies don't exactly match the stated GURPS TLs and the two GURPS TL are effectively identical a GTLx note will be provided.
Quality of Life Technology
|0||1-3||0||Muscles||Fingers and sticks||Runners||Mystics/Herbology||Natural (Caves, Huts)|
|1||1-4||1-3||Water (GTL 2)||Abacus / Geometry (GTL 2), Trigonometry (GTL 2)||Long Distance Signaling||Diagnosis||Settlements, Towns (Irrigation) - GTL 1|
|2||4||4||Wind (GTL 2), Clockwork||Algebra - GTL4 3||Printing press||Internal Anatomy||Cities (Canals, Roads) - GTL 1-2|
|3||5||5||Coal / Steam||Calculus||Telegraph, Audio Recording||Surgery||Cement Structures|
|4||5||5||Electricity (DC GTL5; AC GTL6)||Mechanical Calculators||Telephone (GTL6)||Vaccination, Antiseptics, Anesthetics||Cities in Rugged/Desert Terrain, Crude Terraform|
|5||6||6||Petrochemicals, Internal combustion||Electric Calculators||Radio, Radar||Mass Vaccination, X-Ray||Sealed/Conditioned Cities|
|6||6-7||6-7||Nuclear Fission||Electronic Computers (Large Model/1 bis)||Television / Advanced Audio Recording||Virus, Crude Prosthetics||Skyscrapers, Weather Predict, Underground Cities|
|7||7||7||Solar energy, early Fuel Cells||Desktop Computers, Expert systems, Model/2||Early Satellite, Video recording||Organ Transplant, Slow Drugs||Cities in Jungle Terrain|
|8||7-8||7-8||Geothermal (GTL 6)||Massive Parallel / Low Data, Model/2bis||Fibre optics (GTL 7)||Artificial Organs, Metabolics||Orbital Settlements, Early Weather Control|
|9||8-9||8-9||Early Fusion, Improved Batteries||Non-Volatile / High Data, Vocal I/O, Model/3||Video Telephone (GTL 7), Flat Screen (GTL 7)||Limb Regeneration, Cryogenics, Fast Drugs||Arcologies, Orbital Cities|
|10||9||8-10||Fusion Plants 2KL Minimum||Early Synaptics, voice transcription (GTL 8), Model/4||Holovision, Text Transcription||Antiviral Vaccines (GTL 6), Cancer Cure, Growth Quickining||Under-Sea/Under Ice Cities|
|11||9||8-10||Fusion Plants 1KL Minimum||Synaptic Learning Processors, Hand Computers, Model/5||Personal Global Communications||Nerve Refusion, Artificial Eyes||Gravitic Structure Support (GTL ^)|
|12||10||8-10||Fusion Plants 250L Minimum, Advanced Fuel Cells||Low Autonomous Robots, Model/6||Real-time Multilingual Translators||Broad Spectrum Anti-toxins, Enhanced Prosthetics||Major Terraforming, Advanced Weather Control|
|13||10||8-10||Fusion output 3Kw per L, Miniature Super-Batteries||Holocrystal Storage, High Autonomous Robots, Model/7||Holovideo Recorders||Cloning of Replacement Parts, Reanimation||Non-mobile Gravitic Cities|
|14||11||8-10||Fusion Plants 100L Minimum||Computer/Brain Implants, Model/8||Early Meson Communicators||Genetic Engineering, Memory Erasure||Mobile Gravitic Cities|
|15||12||8-10||Fusion output 6Kw per L||Pseudo-Reality Computers, Pseudo Robots, Model/9||Meson Communicators, Pseudo Reality Communications||Anagathics, Advanced Pseudobio Prosthetics||Complex Terraforming Possible|
|16||13||10||Fusion output 7Kw per L, 80L Minimum||Low Artificial Intelligence, Robots in all Facets||Personal Meson Communicators, Personal Holovideo||Brain Transplants, Crude Memory Transfer||Global Terraforming, Hostile Worlds|
|17||10-13||10^||Early Antimatter Plants||High Artificial Intelligence, Self-Aware Robots||Pocket Meson Communications||Selective Memory Erasure, Intelligent Anitbodies||Total Terraforming to 800Km worlds|
|18||10-13||10^||Antimatter 1Mw/L, 750L Fuel Pod Minimum||Robots become Society's Basic Workforce||Partial Memory Transfer||Total Terraforming to 4000Km worlds|
|19||10-13||-||Antimatter 2.5Mw/L, 200L Fuel Pod Minimum||Non-Cryogenic Suspension, Advanced Bioengineering||Total Terraforming|
|20||10-13||10^||Antimatter 15Mw/L, 40L Fuel Pod Minimum||Matter Transport Eliminates Global Communication Barriers (G4TL^)||Total Memory Transfer||Mobile Worlds (Sublight)|
|21||13-14||^||Antimatter 50Mw/L, 5L Fuel Pod Minimum||Matter Transport Eliminates Intra-System Barriers||Early Total Rejuvenation||Mobile Worlds (Jump Space) & Rosettes|
|23||14||11||"Classic" Dyson Spheres (with many Capsules)|
|25||14||12^||Ability to create Ringworlds, access pocket universe (G4TL6^)|
|27||14||12^||Rigid Dyson Spheres|
|35||15-16||12^||Create Pocket Universe|
|0||1-3||0||Foot - Animals||Raft / Canoe||-||-|
|1||1-3||1-3||Wheel - Carts/Chariots (GTL 1)||Rowed Galleys, Crude Sailing Vessels||-||-|
|2||4||4||Advanced Wheel - Moveable Axle, Replaceable Rims||Early Multi-Mast Sailing (GTL 2), Oceangoing sailing ships (GTL 3), Crude Navigation (GTL 2), Stagecoachs||-||-|
|3||5||5||Extensive Road (GTL 2) - High-Speed Coach||Multi-Mast Sailing (GTL 4), Navigation (GTL 4)||Manned Hot Air Balloons||-|
|4||5||5||Trains||Ironclads, Steamships||Dirigibles (GTL 6), Early Gliders||-|
|5||6||6||Ground Cars, Tracked Vehicles||Personal Self-Propelled Boats, Steel hulls, Early Submersibles||Airplanes, Seaplanes||Early Rockets (unmanned)|
|6||6||6||Amphibian Vehicles, ATVs, AFVs||Submersibles, Scuba, Amphibian Vehicles||Early Jet, Helicopters||Early Manned Rockets (GTL 7), Unmanned Rockets|
|7||7||7||Hovercraft, High-Speed Trains||Hydrofoils, Hovercraft||Supersonic Jet, Hang Gliders||Deep Space Probes (Unmanned), Maneuver-1/2 (non-gravitic)|
|8||8||8||Triphibian Vehicles||Triphibian Vehicles, Early Artificial Gills||Triphibian Vehicles, Hypersonic Jet||Space Shuttles, Space Stations, Maneuver-3-5 (non-grav)|
|9||9||9^||Early Grav Vehicles, Ultra High-Speed Trains||Early Grav Vehicles, Artificial Gills||Early Grav Vehicles, Rocket Assist Suborbital||Jump-1 possible (GT4 ^), Sublight Stellar|
|10||9||9^||Grav Vehicles||UH Grav Modules||Gravitic Maneuver|
|11||9||9-10^||Personal G-Tubes, HV Grav Modules||Jump-2 (GT4 ^), Thruster Technology|
|12||10||^||Personal Grav Belts (GT4 ^), LT Grav Modules (GT4 ^)||Jump-3 (GT4 ^)|
|13||10||^||Grav Vehicles Merge with Orbital Spacecraft (GT4 ^), Jump-4 (GT4 ^)|
|14||11||^||Jump-5 (GT4 ^)|
|15||12||^||Jump-6 (GT4 ^)|
|16||13||^||Raw Material Only Short Range Matter Transport (GT4 ^)|
|17||13||^||Inanimate Only Short Range Matter Transport (GT4 ^)|
|18||-||^||Self-Aware Starships, living being portal based Matter Transport (GT4 ^)|
|21||-||^||Multi Parsec Range Starship-Sized Matter Transport Portals (GT4 ^)|
History & Background (Dossier)
Technology Comparison Chart
References & Contributors / Sources
|This article is missing content for one or more detailed sections. Additional details are required to complete the article. You can help the Traveller Wiki by expanding it.|
- GURPS 3rd Edition Lite - External Link: http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/lite/3e/gurpslite.pdf
- GURPS 3rd Edition TL - External Link: http://web.archive.org/web/20070214002238/http://www.omnology.com/gurps-levels.html
- GURPS 4th Edition TL - External Link: http://gurps.wikia.com/wiki/Tech_Level
- Author & Contributor: Lord (Marquis) and Master of Sophontology Maksim-Smelchak of the Ministry of Science
- In GURPS Traveller: Interstellar Wars, this module appears in TL8.