Technology Level

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Technology Level or Tech Level is a measure of technological capability. Usually this is used in the Universal world profile to indicate the overall technology of the planet. A planet may have large sections, and/or populations at a more primitive or advanced level than listed.

Please refer to the following AAB library articles for related information:

Description (Specifications)[edit]

Technology does not imply that the standards of living as workers on a high tech industrial world will be a poorer quality of life (perhaps not having the money to pay for high-tech health care), than a medieval farmer. The tech level does impact the economic exchange rate for a world's goods, but it has a very significant effect on its economy and the extent of its interstellar trade.

Technology can be a tremendous multiplier for economies of any size as well as a source of enormous prosperity. However, while many technologies have the capacity to bring great prosperity and economic wealth to planet, technology also has the capacity to be tremendously disruptive of local cultures, societies, and peoples.

Technological Metrics[edit]

The Technology Levels of the Third Imperium are measured in the range 0-15 (0-F), with 0 representing extreme primitive levels (hunter/gatherers), and 15 the height of Imperial technology.

  • However, there is technology more advanced than that of the Third Imperium as evidenced by ancient sites (e.g. Rosette worlds are TL-21 and Rigid Dyson Spheres TL-27). This kind of technology, more advanced than the present, are represented by TL's 16 to 33.
  • Traveller5 aka T5 has introduced a new theoretical maximum to the TL System of TL-33.

Epochal Technological Periods[edit]

On a very broad level, Imperial historians, scientists, and scouts have divided contemporary history into technological epochs and periods. This chronological periodization also projects where future technological trends might be found as evidenced by Ancients technology and that of other Precursors:

Epochal Technological Periods Overview
Period Name Period's (TL's) Technology Scope Period Remarks


TL-0 Proto-tech Very early societies and basic tools with a planetary (world) scope. (Alpha Period) TBD
Low Sophontic


TL-1-9 Ur-tech Foundational technologies with planetary-systemic (intrastellar) scope. (Ur Period) TBD


TL-10-18 Stell-tech Interstellar technologies with an polystellar (intragalactic) scope. (Stellar Period) TBD
High Sophontic


TL-19-27 Ultra-tech Galactic technologies with a polygalactic scope. (Galactic Period) TBD


TL-28-30 Dei-Tech Astrodeific technologies with a universal scope. (Transgalactic Period) TBD


TL-31-33 Omni-tech Bhodhisattivan technologies with a polytemporal, trans-dimensional scope. (Omega Period) TBD

History & Background (Dossier)[edit]

The Third Imperium's most advanced technologies in common use are (TL-15) technologies. Some cutting-edge have achieved a (TL-16) rating, but are not yet in wide usage. Average technologies in common use within the Third Imperium are very often considerably lower than the high end of (TL-15).

Technological Level Conversion Table[edit]

The TL system differs between different versions of the Traveller game. The following table shows conversion between different TL systems of the various Traveller editions.

  • Most Traveller game editions default to the original Classic Traveller Traveller TL technology levels.
Traveller TL GURPS 3e TL GURPS 4e TL Historical Era
0 1-3 0 Stone Age (fire)
1 4 1 Bronze Age (3500 BC)
1 4 2 Iron Age (1200 BC)
1 4 3 Medieval Age (600 AD)
2 5 4 Age of Sail (1450 AD)
3 5 5 Industrial Revolution (1730 AD)
4 5 6 Mechanized Age (1880 AD)
5 6 6 Circa 1910 AD
6 6 7 Nuclear Age (1940 AD)
7 7 7 Circa 1970 AD
8 8 8 Digital Age (1990 AD)
9 9 9^ Early Stellar (2050 AD)
10 (A) 9 10^ Early Stellar (2120 AD)
11 (B) 9 10^ Average Stellar
12 (C) 10 11^ Average Imperial
13 (D) 10 11^ Average Stellar
14 (E) 11 12^ High Stellar
15 (F) 12 12^ Imperial Maximum
16 (G) 13 12^ Darrian Historical Maximum
  • In Standard GURPS 4th, the maximum TL is 12, but in the referee-gamemaster's permission there can be more TL's. It's assumed to be the maximum tech level that a present human can imagine is TL-12.

References & Contributors (Sources)[edit]

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