Thread: Tech levels
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Old September 21st, 2019, 04:33 PM
kilemall kilemall is offline
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One other thought- I wouldn't get so hung up on technical progression as experienced on Earth.

Each race of sophonts is likely to go about TL dev at differing rates according to resources, the way their environment shaped their minds, and need.

So to me TL is more a measure of 'what stuff' you will commonly encounter or buy on the planet, not a simulation of their productive capability.

I do think it is worth your while as a ref to figure out roughly how the planet's economy works and what does get made there vs. importing. Part of the local color and 'not in Kansas anymore' we should all be striving for.

A good indicator to use IMO is trade codes. Roughly speaking, if the planet is Non-IND it likely doesn't make anything but export specific goods and vital local supplies doing mostly repair, an IND planet makes EVERYTHING and plenty of it, and planets in-between make some items and not others.

This makes sense, on a planet of 40,000 you'll be lucky to find an air/raft dealership, and probably only a few repair places with parts- just not enough people to sustain the business and supply chain. Get into the millions of people and you start getting a full support ecology, maybe even local manufacture for local conditions (but Soc 9+ would likely import).

Going one step further, for CT you could use the trade codes to price individual items per category. So an air/raft comes in at 20% more on an NI world and 30% less on an I. Similar effects happen between Poor and Rich worlds.

My tweak for individual items would also involve TL difference as a modifier. I would apply the absolute difference as a negative DM in both buying and selling- too high a tech and it's 'magic' may be desirable but unsustainable to maintain, too low and it's more prone to breaking/not as good as current models.

If the planet is NI, then that means it's likely importing everything- then TL ends up being more a straight measure of the value of whatever that planet is exporting. You have a pop 4 TLC planet, there is likely something very desirable being shipped out. That export dries up, maybe the planet reverts to TL7. Maybe that's how you get those planets with billions but low TL, they HAD a business model but changes, bad choices or planetary disasters ruined that earning power.
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