Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Technology Level Table
I'd map our western world like this: Dark Age -> Classical -> Dark Age -> Alchemy -> Weird Science -> Industrialism -> Weird Science -> Cybernetics
These levels can of course be mixed. Cybernetics usually includes a bit of Industrialism, for example.
Note that these write-ups assume sorcery to be a subset of technology.
Roll a d6
1 - Dark Age
2 - Classical
3 - Alchemy
4 - Industrialism
5 - Weird Science
6 - Cybernetics
People don't understand technology and think of it as witchcraft. Cults and sorcerers abound. Metal items are rare and often the relics of past times, though basic copper items can be forged.
Science is debased by religion.
People can manually work technology, like working bronze and creating clockwork mechanisms. Basic mechanics are understood and reason and logic are the driving forces of culture.
Science is an art form.
People are kept in the dark. The mysteries of technology are hidden behind symbolism, allegory and mysticism. The practice of science is mixed with philosophy. Complex and baroque formulas and equations are treated as the key to the transcendence from humanity.
Science is occultism.
People have access to steel and gunpowder, making rifles and revolvers the weapons of choice. Factories exist, and mass-production makes technology cheap and ubiquitous.
Science is a tool.
Most people don't understand the principles of the advanced sciences that fuel their technology. Radical theories are proved and disproved daily. Atomic and electronic appliances are used.
Science is an academical frontier.
People are infused with technology. Production on the nanoscale and the creation of bionic implants allow persons to change themselves radically. The creation of artificial intelligence and gene modification cause ethical problems.
Science is everywhere.
People bend the rules of reality on a regular basis. Feats such as immortality, teleportation and time travel are part of everyday life. Genesis-machines and their creation of worlds are the pinnacle of technology. This is the tech-level of the Old Ones in their prime, and can never be mastered by simple humans.
Science is divinity.