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Mystara GURPS Tech Level (1,000 AC)

by Giorgio

Very interesting discussion going on with regards to the topic of technology in Mystara. I plan on commenting on many of the recent postings, but in the meantime, here is my contribution.

Listed below are the various Tech Levels (TL) as found in the GURPS RPG which I have found to be of great use in all of my various fantasy and non-fantasy based RPGs. Perhaps this can serve as a reference (or base) for more discussions on this topic. Following that, I created what I think are the current TLs of some the various Mystaran cultures (not all, feel free to add more entries) circa 1000 AC. Those books that I own, I mark with a * ; anyone that can fill in the missing entries on the other races of Mystara circa feel free to chip in.

For now I will just make an entry as to the overall TL that I think fits a culture (it doesn't have to have every item on the list, but enough of them that it can be reasonable be place at this level of overall tech developments).


TL0: Stone Age
General: lever, language
Transportation: Walking; canoes; sledges
Warfare: Fists, stone weapons; shields
Energy/Power: Fire, slaves
Medicine: Herbs
Materials: Wood, leather, stone
Tools: Hand tools
Construction: Shelter
Food: Hunting, gathering, horticulture

TL1: Bronze Age (Athens)
General: writing
Transportation: The Wheel; horseback; horse-drawn carts; sailing rafts and small galleys
Warfare: Metal weapons (metal-tipped spears and arrows; bronze swords), leather armour, chariots
Power: Draft animals (horses and mules); water wheels
Medicine: Supportive treatment. Military surgery
Biotech: Farming leads to a practical understanding of basic heredity; plants and animals bred for desired traits. Microbes exploited to make bread, wine, and cheese.
Materials: Bronze, ceramics
Tools: Machines
Construction: Monumental architecture
Food: Agriculture, herding

TL2: Iron Age (Rome)
Transportation: Riding (horseback with a saddle); ocean-going galleys
Warfare: Infantry formations, artillery, galleys. Iron swords; shields; scale armour
Power: Windmills. Water mills.
Medicine: Bleeding and purging the sick; chemical remedies
Materials: Iron, concrete, glass
Construction: keystone arch
Food: Two-course field rotation

TL3: Medieval (pre-1450)
General: mathematics with zero
Transportation: Stirrups; sailing ships
Weapons and Armour: Armoured cavalry; Steel weapons; lances, flails, crossbows; plate and chain mail; castles
Power: Windmills, horses with horse-collars Medicine: Amputations and crude prosthetics, extracts
Materials: Steel
Construction: Dome
Food: Three-course field rotation

TL4: Renaissance/Colonial (1450-1700)
General: gunpowder, printing
Transportation: Fully-rigged ships; hot-air balloons
Weapons and Armour: Black-powder muskets; cannon; sailing warships
Medicine: Experiments that killed the patients
Biotech: Optical microscopes make cells visible.

TL5: Industrial Revolution (1701-1900)
General: mass production, steam power, telegraph
Transportation: Steamships; railroads; zeppelins
Weapons and Armour: Ironclad warships; dynamite; repeating handguns
Power: Steam engines; direct current
Medicine: Germ theory of disease; anaesthetics; early vaccines
Biotech: Mendel's laws of heredity. Nature of cells and reproduction understood. Darwin postulates evolution Galton theorises eugenics.

TL6: Atomic (1901-1950)
General: cars, airplanes, radio, rockets
Transportation: Automobiles; aircraft; ocean liners; submarines
Weapons and Armour: Battleships; tanks; machine-guns; fighter aircraft; fission bombs; flak jackets
Power: Hydroelectric power; alternating current Medicine: Major surgery; Penicillin and other antibiotics
Biotech: Mutation of plants and micro-organisms using chemicals and radiation. Biochemistry comes into its own. Electron microscope allows viruses to be seen. Experiments in eugenics.

TL7: Nuclear (1951-2000)
General: fission power / nuclear energy, computer, laser, orbital travel
Transportation: Jet aircraft; space shuttles; mag-lev monorails; hovercraft
Weapons and Armour: Nuclear missiles; atomic submarines; jet fighters; Kevlar
Power: Fission and hot fusion; solar
Medicine: Organ transplants, genetic testing. Gene therapy? Cloning?
Biotech: DNA, chromosomes and genes discovered, related to heredity. Genome mapping begins. Recombinant DNA and transgenics allow simple gene-engineering.

Mystara GURPS Tech Level (1,000 AC) v1

(Gaz 1)The Grand Duchy of Karameikos *
--TL3: Medieval (European)

(Gaz 2)The Emirates of Ylaruam *
--TL3: Medieval (Middle East)

(Gaz 3)The Magocracy of Glantri
--TL3: Medieval

(Gaz 4)The Kingdom of Ierendi*
--TL3: Medieval (Caribbean)

(GAZ 5)The Elves of Alfheim
--TL3: Medieval

(Gaz 6)The Dwarves of Rockhome *
--TL3/4: Medieval & Renaissance/Colonial

(Gaz 7)Kingdom of Ostland
--TL3: Medieval

(Gaz 7)Kingdom of Vestland
--TL3: Medieval

(Gaz 7)Kingdom of Soderfjord
--TL3: Medieval

(Gaz 8)The Five Shires
--TL3: Medieval (LotR -Hobbits)

(Gaz 9)The Minrothad Guilds
--TL3: Medieval

(Gaz 10)The Orcs of Thar *
--TL3: Medieval (Nomadic/Raiders)

(Gaz 11)The Republic of Darokin
--TL3: Medieval

(Gaz 12)The Ethengar Khanate
--TL2: Iron Age

(Gaz 13)The Shadow Elves
--TL3: Medieval

(Gaz 14)The Atruaghin Clans
--TL0: Stone Age

(Gaz 15)The Empire of Thyatis
--TL2/3: Iron Age & Medieval (Roman Empire)

(Gaz 15)The Empire of Alphatia
--TL2/3: Iron Age & Medieval