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Old 04-20-2020, 06:58 PM   #41
maximara
 
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Default Re: [Star Trek like] number of planets and sapients

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Possibly, that is pretty speculative. ST has progenitor/Preservers that have seeded terran life across the galaxy.
Microbes and viruses mutate at an insane rate and that is your biggest danger. Read Plagues and Peoples (1976) by William H. McNeill as it goes into the then brand new fundamentals regarding this and how they effected history on our own planet.

From Andromeda Strain:
"After consultation with astronomers and evolutionary theories, the Wildfire group concluded that bacteria could come from three sources [...]

The first was the most obvious-- an organism, from another planet or galaxy, which had the protection to survive the extremes of temperature and vacuum that existed in space."

Second, Earth organisms that left the surface of the earth eons ago.

"And if there were organisms out there, and if they had departed from the baking crust of the earth long before the first men appeared, then they would be foreign to man. No immunity, no adaptation, no antibodies would have been developed. They would be primitive aliens to modern man, in the same way that the shark, a primitive fish unchanged for a hundred million years, was alien and dangerous to modern man, invading the oceans for the first time."

"The third source of contamination, the third of the vectors, was at the same time the most likely and the most troublesome. This was contemporary earth organisms, taken into space by inadequately sterilized spacecraft. Once in space, the organisms would be exposed to harsh radiation, weightlessness, and other environmental forces that might exert a mutagenic effect, altering the organisms" So that when they came down, they would be different."


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Yes, but ST like TL^ changes this for the most part. I do want to have a plausible non-TL^ base to then change as needed tough.
This is why I low-ball Star Trek Original Series to TL9^ - once you throw out the superscience that is more or less where the tech you are left with is at. Cranking Star Trek up to TL11^ is, IMNSHO, just being lazy...or not being that knowledgable about the material in the TOS show.
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Last edited by maximara; 04-20-2020 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 04-21-2020, 02:02 AM   #42
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Default Re: [Star Trek like] number of planets and sapients

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This is why I low-ball Star Trek Original Series to TL9^ - once you throw out the superscience that is more or less where the tech you are left with is at. Cranking Star Trek up to TL11^ is, IMNSHO, just being lazy...or not being that knowledgable about the material in the TOS show.
I'd probably go with Enterprise at TL9^, ST:TOS/TAS as TL 10^, and TNG onward at TL11^. The idea here is assuming a full TL difference between TOS and TNG, and between ENT and the TOS/TAS era.

It's possible, however, that Enterprise is at TL8^, which puts TOS/TAS at 9^ and TNG onward at TL10^; I don't recall what form the energy weapons in Enterprise took, or if they were Human or Vulcan tech to begin with. The key, of course, is the ^; warp drive, artificial gravity, and contragravity are the main superscience advancements available in Enterprise, along with the electro-plasma conduits (the main reason consoles explode!), and then a healthy dose of more refined TL10^ Vulcan, Andorian, and Tellarite technology at the formation of the Federation to bring the Humans up to speed.
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Old 04-21-2020, 03:14 AM   #43
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Default Re: [Star Trek like] number of planets and sapients

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I'd probably go with Enterprise at TL9^, ST:TOS/TAS as TL 10^, and TNG onward at TL11^. The idea here is assuming a full TL difference between TOS and TNG, and between ENT and the TOS/TAS era.

It's possible, however, that Enterprise is at TL8^, which puts TOS/TAS at 9^ and TNG onward at TL10^; I don't recall what form the energy weapons in Enterprise took, or if they were Human or Vulcan tech to begin with. The key, of course, is the ^; warp drive, artificial gravity, and contragravity are the main superscience advancements available in Enterprise, along with the electro-plasma conduits (the main reason consoles explode!), and then a healthy dose of more refined TL10^ Vulcan, Andorian, and Tellarite technology at the formation of the Federation to bring the Humans up to speed.
AIR about all the energy weapons beyond lasers were superscience even in Enterprise. As mentioned on the GURPSwiki page you do have that Hibernation Chamber which is TL9 in the 1990s So, unless WWIII (when it happened is a total mess - originally it was the early 1990s) really pounded the TL there was some TL9 stuff around for the Enterprise era even if was effectively "dead end" technology.

More over the TOS Federation does not have TL9 stuff like Androids or normal Brain Transplants. Personally I think TNG is more one the TL9^-10^ boundary as there really isn't that much non-superscience TL10 to be seen.
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Old 04-21-2020, 05:31 AM   #44
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Default Re: [Star Trek like] number of planets and sapients

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I'd probably go with Enterprise at TL9^, ST:TOS/TAS as TL 10^, and TNG onward at TL11^. The idea here is assuming a full TL difference between TOS and TNG, and between ENT and the TOS/TAS era.

This is my base assumption for this setting. I've read several of the "what TL is Star Trek" threads and I think this suits what I want to do the best.
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Old 04-21-2020, 09:30 AM   #45
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Default Re: [Star Trek like] number of planets and sapients

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I

It's possible, however, that Enterprise is at TL8^,.
Probably not. The Grappler isn't superscience but isn't TL8 either. It's well beyond any space tech that might be ready to field in the next 10 years and the material strength of its' cables in particular is beyond TL8.

The translators are beyond TL8 also but not necessarily superscience.

They've also had muiltiple generations of energy weapons and while the phase weapons are superscience but their predecessors (which were called "plasma guns" but were probably particle guns in Gurps) do not have to have been superscience.

The general rule about Emergent Superscience is that you get _one_ ^ device that appears but does not immediately change civilization totally. When you have many ^ devices and a civilization based on them you're loking at at least one 8+1^ level. Multiple levels of ^ are also possible.
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Old 04-21-2020, 10:31 PM   #46
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Default Re: [Star Trek like] number of planets and sapients

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That's certainly reasonable, but it falls foul of the problem with all discussion of aliens, in that we have no data at all.

For ex, if technological advancement is 'normally' an exponentiating curve, as Heinlein posited, the chances of two sapient races meeting on comparable levels is essentially zero. That would reflect the rate of advancement that the West has seen over the last 3 or 4 centuries. If you imagine first contacts between cultures at 1750 level, 1850, 1950, and 2120 levels, you see substantial differences over short periods.
I think that teal world technologies are mostly s-curves and not exponential.
For individual technologies or related groups of them, yeah, definitely. For the overall technical/scientific ability of a society...that's more complicated.

You can argue that the history of the human race does show an exponentiating acceleration of science/tech. We were (as far as we can tell now) in the primitive stone age for megayears, before we were modern humans, in the higher stone age for tens of millennia or more, accelerating into recorded history, where it got faster and faster.

But...that's the appearance at the lowest resolution. When you zoom in, the smooth accelerating curve suddenly gets spiky and full of fast spikes and long shallow plateaus and even dips.

It might be, for example, that once a society reaches warp-tech level, or whatever FTL you're using, that getting to the more advanced stuff takes orders of magnitude greater resources and energy, so your tech levels off until you've filled the galaxy and are able to tap galaxy-wide resource bases. Then comes a fast period again.
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Old 04-21-2020, 11:43 PM   #47
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Default Re: [Star Trek like] number of planets and sapients

I think that technological advancement eventually suffers from diminishing returns, as we are seeing with computing right now and have seen with many other technologies (axes have not gotten any better for a while...).
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Old 04-22-2020, 03:07 AM   #48
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Default Re: [Star Trek like] number of planets and sapients

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It's possible, however, that Enterprise is at TL8^

Probably not. The Grappler isn't superscience but isn't TL8 either. It's well beyond any space tech that might be ready to field in the next 10 years and the material strength of its' cables in particular is beyond TL8.
Of course the problem with "^" is that you can have technology appear way before it "should" or technology that is more efficient then it can realistically. Case in point is Britannica-5 which at TL5^ has antimatter bombs - something "normally" not seen until TL10. As shown on the GURPSwiki Star Trek antimatter is cinematic superscience in terms of its energy output - which is why it can appear way before the TL11 one would expect.

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The translators are beyond TL8 also but not necessarily superscience.
IIRC they are presented as superscience in GURPS-ultra-tech.

The general rule about Emergent Superscience is that you get _one_ ^ device that appears but does not immediately change civilization totally. When you have many ^ devices and a civilization based on them you're loking at at least one 8+1^ level. Multiple levels of ^ are also possible.
Don't forget about split TL.
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Old 04-22-2020, 07:37 AM   #49
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Default Re: [Star Trek like] number of planets and sapients

Or early, middle, and late tech levels. The shows don't have to be smack in the middle of a TL even if that would make our designations easier.
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Old 04-22-2020, 08:00 AM   #50
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Default Re: [Star Trek like] number of planets and sapients

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Or early, middle, and late tech levels. The shows don't have to be smack in the middle of a TL even if that would make our designations easier.
I think this is something people forget about GURPS TLs in general - there can be a huge range within a TL. Compare the Newcomen atmospheric engine (1712) with the relatively "minor" changes Watt did to it 1763 to 1775. It's all TL5 but Watt's changes caused the steam engine to have a mammoth improvement.

Something similar can be seen with personal computers (TL8): The IBM 5100 (1975) is totally different from the Macintosh (1984) which is very different from c2000 computers. Heck, the under the hood code the current Mac uses is a variant of Unix which has been improved over the 50 years of its existence and that is just the software.
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