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Old 06-29-2017, 07:46 AM   #1
Anders
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Default Has anyone looked at TLs for 3rd ed and 4th ed

Tech Levels underwent a major reorganization between 3rd and 4th edition, especially the higher Tech Levels. Has anyone looked at what old Tech Levels correspond to the new one? Is there a rough approximation or is this a fool's errand?
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Old 06-29-2017, 08:07 AM   #2
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Default Re: Has anyone looked at TLs for 3rd ed and 4th ed

There is quite a bit of difference between the way TLs are defined for 3e and 4e. This post summarises it quite well, but the whole thread is relevant.
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Old 06-29-2017, 09:17 AM   #3
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Default Re: Has anyone looked at TLs for 3rd ed and 4th ed

I had to do some of this for my Vehicles->Spaceships conversion. Up through TL 4, the tech levels are the same. 3e's "early TL 5" (which is a thing in Vehicles) is 4e TL 5, while 3e's late TL 5 and TL 6 are condensed together into 4e's TL 6. 3e TL 7 gets split up into 4e TL 7 and the earlier part of 4e TL 8. Beyond that, things were speculative and are based on different paradigms, but 3e TL 8 matches up decently with later 4e TL 8 and some 4e TL 9. Beyond that, I don't think comparisons between the two are very useful - you'd need to look at each individual piece technology to determine where it fits in the 4e scheme of things.
I should note this is based on a combination of the dates given for the TL's and the way the technologies work in Vehicles, as I have no other 3e books.
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Old 06-29-2017, 02:33 PM   #4
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Default Re: Has anyone looked at TLs for 3rd ed and 4th ed

I think a major mistake was made in capping TLs at 12, trying to model settings like GURPS Uplift based on David Brin's novels, just got pointlessly more difficult.
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Old 06-29-2017, 03:04 PM   #5
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Default Re: Has anyone looked at TLs for 3rd ed and 4th ed

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I think a major mistake was made in capping TLs at 12, trying to model settings like GURPS Uplift based on David Brin's novels, just got pointlessly more difficult.
Agreed. TL12 seems to have two modes: the gear that is a logical progression from the TL10-11 gear, including some TL12^ gear that progresses easily from TL10^ and TL11^, and the gear that is "this stuff is so far in advance of everything that TL12 is the only place to put it".

As a house rule, I place the latter stuff as "TL13". This also lets folks run a hypothetical TL12 Star Trek game with "even more advanced tech civilizations" possible.
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Old 06-30-2017, 07:30 AM   #6
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Default Re: Has anyone looked at TLs for 3rd ed and 4th ed

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I think a major mistake was made in capping TLs at 12, trying to model settings like GURPS Uplift based on David Brin's novels, just got pointlessly more difficult.
Indeed, it has caused a set of issues with both normal and super science TL 12 tech being in several different tech levels really. There is the better than TL 11 stuff and the better than that better than TL 11 stuff at least.
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Old 06-30-2017, 11:20 AM   #7
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Default Re: Has anyone looked at TLs for 3rd ed and 4th ed

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Originally Posted by Phantasm View Post
Agreed. TL12 seems to have two modes: the gear that is a logical progression from the TL10-11 gear, including some TL12^ gear that progresses easily from TL10^ and TL11^, and the gear that is "this stuff is so far in advance of everything that TL12 is the only place to put it".

As a house rule, I place the latter stuff as "TL13". This also lets folks run a hypothetical TL12 Star Trek game with "even more advanced tech civilizations" possible.
Honestly that's not even really a house rule. I means it's right there in the box on page 7 of Ultra-Tech. It's a world-building decision.
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Old 06-30-2017, 11:25 AM   #8
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Default Re: Has anyone looked at TLs for 3rd ed and 4th ed

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Originally Posted by Phantasm View Post
Agreed. TL12 seems to have two modes: the gear that is a logical progression from the TL10-11 gear, including some TL12^ gear that progresses easily from TL10^ and TL11^, and the gear that is "this stuff is so far in advance of everything that TL12 is the only place to put it".
The issue I had with 3e TL was that above 10 or so, it rapidly just became a measure of how much magic technology could do. Separate superscience from the rest of the progression (as 4e did), and the difference between 12 and 16 was limited.
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Old 06-30-2017, 11:53 AM   #9
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Default Re: Has anyone looked at TLs for 3rd ed and 4th ed

My feelings exactly. The moment it got past present day, more and more magic crept in.
I certainly believe that in the distant future, something we now consider magic will actually become reality. But exactly what should be a very carefully considered GM call, not RAW and not so many randomly chosen from complete absurdity to almost plausible.
I greatly prefer 4th's attempt to keep plausible tech separate from outright magic. I say, "attempt", because this is a game, so some liberties must be taken, and no two people will fully agree on where the line is between extremely difficult but possible and outright impossible.
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Old 06-30-2017, 03:02 PM   #10
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Default Re: Has anyone looked at TLs for 3rd ed and 4th ed

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Originally Posted by RyanW View Post
The issue I had with 3e TL was that above 10 or so, it rapidly just became a measure of how much magic technology could do. Separate superscience from the rest of the progression (as 4e did), and the difference between 12 and 16 was limited.
I wouldn't disagree with this, but I would point out that several technologies have improvement tracks based on TL.
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