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Tech Levels

The most primitive toolmaking capability, characterized by stone (later, copper) implements, wheeled carts, and firemaking. Among primates, the hunter-gatherer society is little different from that of their animal ancestors. Aliens would have a lifestyle patterned analogously. Remote parts of the Amazon basin and Melanesia can still be considered Stone Age.

Bronze, a combination of tin and copper, is the most easily smelted hard metal. Tools get better. Agriculture creates cities and the beginnings of writing. Animal husbandry makes leather and wool available. In Asia, the Bronze Age began about 5000 B.C.

In the Iron Age, more of the same gets better. Iron replaces bronze, writing replaces heiroglyphs, and sailing improves upon riding. The first iron users may conquer well all of their neighbors, producing the first large empires. The Iron Age began in Turkey about 1500 B.C.

The Medieval period in Christian and Moslem culture, roughly 500-1400 A.D., was a period of dissemination and refinement of previous discoveries. Medicine and astronomy were two notable areas of investigation. Large empires are common. On another planet, the details of this era will depend on quirks of history.

The important characteristic of the Renaissance (1400 A.D. in Europe) for Star Hero purposes, is that research and scientific theory are formalized for the first time. Combined with the invention of printing, universities become possible. Certain projects begin that are possible only with good logistics (such as circumnavigating the globe). Standing armies become common late in this period.

The two dominant inventions of the Industrial Age are abundant power (from steam) and instantaneous communications (telegraph, then radio). The world becomes a smaller place and machines start to free up manpower. On Earth, the Industrial Age began in 19th century Britain.

This name identifies Western culture as of the 20th century. Electricity, radio, and aircraft give the world a more homogeneous society. Large numbers of professional scientists and engineers, aided by calculating machines, make technological discovery explosively fast. The first weapons of mass destruction are created (gas, diseases, fission).

This is the era of spaceflight before FTL transport. Civilization spreads from one planet to fill its entire star system. Fusion power and widespread automation (computers, robots) create a large leisure class. In a dark campaign, overpopulation and pollution are serious problems.

The High Tech era is marked by one huge discovery: Faster-Than-Light travel. This era begins perhaps a hundred years after the end of the Modern Age, depending on whether FTL is a lucky discovery or a product of diligent research. Civilization spreads among the stars and probably meets other races. Colony planets evolve separate cultures. Reliable cybernetics and other man/machine interfaces may turn humans themselves into something different.

This is the most advanced technology that can be projected, short of magic. FTL travel is not only possible, it's convenient. Teleportation, regeneration, and antimatter manipulation are all a reality.

Age Transport Weapons Armor Medical Communication Power
STONE Feet Stone none   Language Animals
BRONZE Horse Bronze Leather Herbology Pictographs Water Wheel
IRON Galley Iron Scale Bleeding Writing Windmill
MEDIEVAL Sailing Steel Plate Mail Amputations Printing  
RENAISSANCE Hot Air Balloon Muskets        
INDUSTRIAL Zeppelin Repeating Handgun   Anesthetics Telegraph Steam Engine
MODERN Aircraft Machine Gun Kevlar Antibiotics Telephone Electricity
ADVANCED Spaceship Laser Reflect/Duralloy Suspend Animation Visiphone Nuclear
HIGH TECH Starship Blaster   Cybernetics FTL Mail Delivery Solar
SUPER Teleportation Disintegrator Personal Force Fields Autodoc FTL Communication Antimatter

roleplaying/campaign/nfl/nfltech.txt · Last modified: 2013/03/18 22:01 by