Tech Level Comparison Chart

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The Tech Level Comparison Chart was developed by the IISS, based upon research dating back to the earliest First Imperium publications. This has recognized the importance of technology and developing a comprehensive system of classifying technology.

Area Technology Levels[edit]

The default Technology Level scale describes a general advancement of technology. However, few cultures follow the exact pattern of technical achievement in theoretical science implied by the standard TL system. [1] The Technological Profile divides the Technology Level a number of areas (known as Area Tech Level or ATL), each assigned an individual level index.

The Comparison tables divide the general technology level into four broad areas, which are then further divided into related technologies. While the system presented here is widely used in the Imperium, it is by no means universal. There are several alternative profile systems in use.

Theoretical Technology[edit]

The Theoretical technologies underlie all the other advancements. In the condensed form the Technology Level combines the knowledge of the workings of the physical universe with the ability to use that knowledge to produce useful goods and services. Within the technological profiles, these two items have been split into separate items.

Where the theoretical technologies exceed the base TL of the other areas of technology, there have been breakthroughs in understanding which have not yet been produced into changes to the society.

Physical Science
The real theoretical understandings of the physical universe. Covers the areas of physics and chemistry.
Material Science / Manufacturing
The technology of material processing and manufacturing. The processes required to take raw materials and process them into functional and usable goods.
Biological Science
The theoretical workings of biology and life forms.
Cultural Science
The workings of how a society is organized and works together to produce and use tools. Include education of the next generation of workers to extend and expand technology.
Theoretical Technologies
TL Physical Science Material Science Biological Science Cultural Science
0 Animistic explanations Found materials: Stone, wood, grasses, bone, fur Useful animals are domesticated Tribal gatherings, Barter
1 Engineering by estimates, Astronomy Metal working, quarried stone, Glass, cement, concrete Selective breeding Kingdoms, Written Law, Universal religions
2 Telescopes, Navigation Hard steel Understanding of Anatomy, microorganism Cities, Nations, Wide spread literacy
3 Laws of motion, engineering by math Steel as structural material Theory of evolution, germ theory of disease Democracies
4 Aluminum, Skyscrapers, armored vehicles Medical theories are further advanced
5 First estimates of Quantum mechanics and relativity Plastics and other synthetic materials Biochemistry, discovery of viruses Dictatorships
6 Theory of Electronics Fiberglass, Titanium Superpowers, global nation states
7 Classification of quantum mechanics Composite and advanced ceramics Discovery of DNA, Genome mapping, Artificial Organs
8 Grand Unified theory for gravity control, Photonics Micro-level manufacturing, advanced composites Gene therapy, Systems ecology
9 Detailed gravity manipulation, Jump space described Crystaliron, industrial composite metals, Fluidics Introduction of Cybertechnology
10 Non-geographic communities
11 Magnetics Computer implantation
12 Unified theory to manipulate strong and weak forces Superdense materials Nanosurgery, brain implants
13 Completed theory of biologics First detailed theory of aging Widespread robotic workforce
14 Creation of gravity fields at a distance Industrial Nanotechnology, Bonded Superdense Theory of memory, Geneering, Personality Transfers
15 Unifying theory for normal and jump spaces Full understanding of immune systems and aging
16 Discovery of Hop space Collapsed Crystaline Artificial persons
17 Coherent Superdense
18 Enhanced Coherent Superdense
19 Discovery of Skip Space
21 Deconstruction of Cities

Quality of Life Technology[edit]

Quality of Life technologies are essential to the world's quality of life. These are the basics of technology building on the Theoretical technologies.

Energy technologies are the ability to produce, store, and make use of energy for all purposes.
Technology involving information processing, including computer technologies and robotics
Technologies involving communications processing, including gathering, storing, and dissemination of information.
Medicine / Life sciences
Technology involving the care and healing of living things, applied biological sciences, and genetics.
Technology involving the maintenance of ecosystems. This includes the ability to avoid damaging the environment, reconstruct damaged ecosystems, and Terraforming planets.
Quality of life Technologies
TL Energy Information Communications Medicine / Life sciences Environment
0 Muscles, Domestic Animals Memorization Spoken Word Mystics/Herbology Simple Structures, Primitive Agriculture
1 Water wheels, Wood and Charcoal, Windmills Abacus Writing, Paper Basic Diagnosis Settlements, Cities, Irrigation, Canals
2 Clockworks Advanced Mathematics Printing presses Internal Anatomy Advanced Agriculture
3 Steam Engines, primitive batteries Photography, Telegraphy Crude Surgery Cement Structures
4 Electricity Mechanical Calculators Motion Pictures, Telephone Antiseptics, Anesthetics, Vaccination Skyscrapers
5 Petrochemicals, Steam Turbine, Electrical grid Electric Calculators Radio Broadcasting, Audio Recording Internal Imaging, Crude Prosthetic Sealed/Conditioned Cities
6 Nuclear Fission Electronic Computers Television, Video Recording Reconstructive Surgery Weather Prediction, Underground Cities
7 Geothermal, Solar, Primitive Fuel Cells, Radiothermal generators Desktop Computers, Expert systems Computing Networks, Satellite communications Organ Transplants, Slow Drug Early orbital stations
8 MHD Turbine, Superconductors, Voice Transcription, Massive Parallel computers, Low Data Robots Hand Computer, Ubiquitous neworking, Fiber optic communications Full functioning prosthetics, Artificial Organs, Metabolics Orbital Settlements, Early Weather Control
9 Early Fusion Non-Volatile data storage, High Data robots, Voice command Holovideo recording and transmission Cyrogenics suspension, Limb Regeneration Arcologies, Orbital Cities
10 Practical Fusion Early Synaptic processors Anti-Virals, Growth Quickening, enhanced prosthetics Practical weather control, Artificial Gravity, Under sea cities
11 Fusion+ Synaptic Learning Processors Nerve Refusion, Direct computer implantation Gravitic Structure Support
12 Advanced Fuel Cells Low Autonomous Robots, Positronic Brain Real-time Multilingual Translators Anti-geriatrics, Broad Spectrum Anti-toxins, Personality Recording Major Terraforming, Advanced Weather Control
13 High Autonomous Robots, Holographic storage Effective Cloning, Wafer Technology
14 Exotic Collectors Augmented Reality Genetic Engineering, Memory erasure, Temporary Personality Transfer Ecopoiesis
15 Pseudo-Reality Computers, Meson Communicators, Pseudo-Reality Communications Anagathics Complex Terraforming
16 Low Artificial Intelligence robots Brain Transplants Global Terraforming
17 Early Antimatter Plants High Artificial Intelligence, Self-Aware Robots Intelligent Antibodies, Permanent Personality Transfer
18 Robots become Society's Basic Workforce
19 Non-cryogenic suspension, Advanced Bio-engineering Total Terraforming
21 Early Total Rejuvenation

Transportation Technology[edit]

Technologies for moving goods and people, including the design of vehicles and other transport systems.

Land transportation
Motive transportation on the Ground, including wheeled and tracked vehicles, walkers of all types, and sleds.
Motive transportation on water, including rafts, boats, and submarines.
Motive transportation through the air, including planes, helicopters, balloons, and Grav craft.
Motive transportation through the depths of space.
Transportation Tech Comparison
TL Land Water Air Space
0 Foot - Animals Raft / Canoe - -
1 Wheel - Carts/Chariots Rowed Galleys, Small Sailing Vessels - -
2 Advanced Wheels, Stagecoachs Multi-Mast Sailing, Oceangoing sailing ships, Crude Navigation Experimental Kites -
3 Extensive Road, Trains, Railroads Steamships, Navigation Manned Hot Air Balloons -
4 Self-propelled vehicles Ironclads, World wide navigation Dirigibles, Early Gliders -
5 Ground Cars, Tracked Vehicles Personal Self-Propelled Boats, Steel hulls, Early Submersibles Airplanes, Seaplanes Unmanned Rockets, Satellites
6 Amphibian Vehicles, ATVs, AFVs Submersibles, Scuba, Amphibian Vehicles Early Jet, Helicopters Orbit capable Rockets
7 Hovercraft, High-Speed Trains Hydrofoils, Hovercraft Supersonic Jet, Hang Gliders Unmanned Space Probes, Gravitic Drive 1,2,3,4
8 Triphibian Vehicles Triphibian Vehicles, Early Artificial Gills Triphibian Vehicles, Hypersonic Jet Orbital shuttles, Space Stations, Gravitic drive-4, Maneuver Drive-1
9 Early Grav Vehicles, Ultra High-Speed Trains Early Grav Vehicles, Artificial Gills Early Grav Vehicles, Rocket Assist Suborbital Jump-1 possible, Sublight Stellar - NAFAL Drive, Maneuver Drive
10 Grav Vehicles UH Grav Modules Gravitic Maneuver

[2], Jump-1 certain

11 Personal G-Tubes, HV Grav Modules Jump Drive-2, ThrusterTechnology[2]
12 Personal Grav Belts, LT Grav Modules Jump-3
13 Grav Vehicles Merge with Orbital Spacecraft Jump-4
14 Grav Mobile cities Jump-5
15 Jump-6
16 Raw Material Only Short Range Matter Transport
17 Inanimate Only Short Range Matter Transport
18 Self-Aware Starships, living being portal based Matter Transport
20 - Mobile Planets
21 Multi Parsec Range Starship-Sized Matter Transport Portals Mobile Planets via Jumpspace

Military Technology[edit]

Military technology combines the quality of life technology area of a very specific nature with the Transportation technology. This covers weapons from personal sized to starship mounted weapons system, defensive systems and sensor systems.

Weapons Technology
The offensive portion of military technology.
Defensive systems
The defensive portion including armor, camoflauge, active defensive systems, and screens of various sorts.
Sensors systems are the eyes of military technology, combined with vehicle system and computer technology to make robots.
Military Tech Comparison
- Personal Heavy
TL Weapons Armour Weapons Armour
0 Club, Spear Fur - -
1 Early Weapons (Bow, Sword) Jack Armour Catapult Wood, Bronze, Iron, Crude Steel
2 Early Guns Small Cannons
3 Rifled Weapons Cannons
4 Cartridge Mesh Armour Howitzers, Gatling gun Soft Steel
5 Explosive Grenade, Shotgun Filter Mask Mortars
6 Automatic (SMG) Nuclear Weapons, Missiles Hard Steel
7 Grenade Launchers Cloth Armour, Flack Jacket Beam Lasers Composite Laminate
8 RAM Grenade Launchers, Early Laser Carbine Particle Accelerators, Target Desginated Missiles
9 Laser Weapons Ablative Armour Light Weight Composite Laminate
10 Advanced Combat Rifle Reflec, Combat Environment Suit Plasma Guns, Repulsors Crystaliron
11 Combat Armour Meson Guns
12 PGMP-12, Gauss Rifle Fusion Guns Superdense Armour, Nuclear Dampers
13 PGMP-13, X-Ray Lasers Battle Dress X-Ray Lasers
14 FGMP-14 Bonded Superdense
15 FGMP-15 Early Black Globes
16 FGMP-16, Plasma Rifle, Neural Gun Neural Shield Tractor Beam Black Globes
17 Fusion Rifle, Plama Pistol Disintegrators, Antimatter Warheads Coherent Superdense
18 Disintegrator Rifle, Fusion Pistol Personal Damper Long Range Disintegrator/Tractor Beam
19 Disintegrator Pistol Proton Screen, Plastic Metal Armour
20 Relativity Beam White Globes, Proton Beam
21 Relativity Rifle Personal White Globe Jump Projector Jump Damper

See also[edit]

Technology levels[edit]

References & Contributors (Sources)[edit]

This article has metadata.
GURPS Traveller Notes: An array of notes regarding the similarities and differences between Traveller TL and GURPS TL can be found here: Tech Level Comparison Chart/meta
Mergedisputed.gif This article has two or more sources with conflicting information. Because the conflict has not been resolved, all sources are linked to this article.
This list of sources was used by the Traveller Wiki Editorial Team and individual contributors to compose this article. Copyrighted material is used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author. The page history lists all of the contributions.
  1. Jon F. Zeigler. First In (Steve Jackson Games, 1999), 108.
  2. 2.0 2.1 In GURPS Traveller: Interstellar Wars, this module appears in TL-8.