Found Tools Period

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TL-0 is an age of firsts as sophont species emerge from an animal or creature existence, develop higher intelligence, and begin to make the first tools.

Library Data Referral Tree[edit]

Please refer to the following AAB Library Data for more information:

Description (Specifications)[edit]

It is characterized by construction with tools made from naturally occurring materials (stone, wood, bone, etc) and fire.


EDUCATION, ENTERTAINMENT & NEWS: TL-0 communications are limited to the physiological abilities of a sophont. Most sophonts tend to communicate on an oral-auditory level although, as the Hivers prove, many other kinds of communication also exist. Carved and painted symbology and decoration is also common.


LARGE SCALE POWER, SMALL-SCALE POWER & TRANSMISSION NETWORKS: TL-0 power Generation is limited to simple combustion without mechanical aids, and the basic harnessing of animals. Most Proto-sophonts are unable to create power reliably. Fire, for example, may only be acquired after sourcing it from a natural occurrence such as a lightning strike, for most sophonts.


LAND, SEA, AIR, SPACE, FTL & EXOTIC: TL-0 transportation is limited to the physiological abilities of a sophont and its domesticated animals. Roads may or may not exist to facilitate travel.


MANUFACTURING, MATERIALS & MACHINES: TL-0 sophonts make simple tools from natural materials (e.g. stone spearpoints, clay ovens) and can reliably kindle fire. Hunter-gatherers are learning where richer sources of found tools can be found and the very concepts of manufacturing are being thought up. Band societies have formed.


COMPUTERS, DATA STORAGE & ROBOTICS: TL-0 processor technology doesn’t exist as such. However, most sophonts are beginning to form ideas about the mind and how it works. These later become the foundation of early electronics and processing technologies.


GOVERNMENT, POLITICAL ECONOMY & CLIODYNAMICS: TL-0 cultures can form complex governments and record-keeping abilities, but most are typically no more advanced than a nomadic band society. TL-0 civilizations may have agriculture, writing, art, and mysticism.


TRADE, FINANCE & SCIENCE: TL-0 trade is limited to barter, occasionally with written transaction records. Science in its contemporary form doesn't exist at all. Species tend to form mystical beliefs and superstitions, which organize into cosmologies, a necessary precondition for scientific thought.


STRUCTURES, ENVIRONMENTS & MEGASTRUCTURES: TL-0 sophonts build with natural materials, and many are capable of building sturdy, multi-level dwellings, cleared paths and roads, massive temples, canal systems, and more. Many proto-sophonts live nomadic lives with no set homes or places of residence.

Life Sciences[edit]

BIOLOGY, MEDICINE & AGRICULTURE: TL-0 biological sciences are basic and generally unreliable, with no understanding of chemical processes. Nevertheless, many very early yet sophisticated societies form extremely complex bodies of knowledge regarding their own biological functioning, local herbs and medicinal plants, and a generalized idea about anatomy, physiology, and psychological health.


TACTICAL COMBAT, SMALL ARMS, PERSONAL ARMOR, STRATEGIC COMBAT, HEAVY ARMS & HEAVY ARMOR: TL-0 weapons and armors are limited, primarily to worked stone points and hide armors. Domestication of riding beasts grants a significant advantage in combat, as does the invention of the wheel. The chariot is perhaps the pinnacle of TL-0 weapons technology.

Hallmark Technology-1: Made Tools[edit]

TL-0 tools are made from natural material -- spear points, grindstones, baked clay pots, clat tablets for record keeping, and wax tablets marked by a simple stylus for shipping manifests. While many higher technology sophont species may look down on these tools, such artifacts may be highly sophisticated and advanced in their own regard. Many sophont species continue to use simple tools for many millennia after the TL-0 period of their development.

Hallmark Technology-2: Shelter[edit]

Shelter makes a profound difference in sophonts' lives as it allows a greater range of environments to be colonized. Caves, lean-tos, and thatch or clay-brick buildings can all make the difference between life and death under extreme weather conditions.

Hallmark Technology-3: Fire[edit]

Combustion and fire allows a wide variety of new options for sophonts that master it: warmth and heat, food preparation, food preservation, transformation of materials, and more.

Representative Sophont Species[edit]

TL-0 sophonts are relatively rare. It is near unknown for a sophont to not undergo major trauma after First Contact with an interstellar starfaring society.

  • The following sophont species are known to possess technical mastery within these technological limits:
0 Sophonts in the Found Tools Period epoch
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References & Contributors (Sources)[edit]

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