Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-11-2015, 05:02 AM   #1
Anders
 
Anders's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Default We're gonna have to rethink the TLs

Here's an interesting talk on science and technology in the ancient world. These people knew the distance to the moon, that the moon had an eccentric orbit, how large the world was... they had a a grain-grinding mill with 16 large water wheels that produced flour for an entire region, they had automata that could perform plays... maybe it would be more appropriate to put them at TL3 and the Dark Ages at TL 2?
__________________
“He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion... Nor is it enough that he should hear the opinions of adversaries from his own teachers, presented as they state them, and accompanied by what they offer as refutations. He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them...he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.”
Anders is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2015, 05:09 AM   #2
Nereidalbel
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Ellicott City, MD
Default Re: We're gonna have to rethink the TLs

While individual nations/states/etc had a handful of things above their general TL, the world as a whole was still TL2. One civilization being TL2 +1 (Mathematics) doesn't make the world TL3.
Nereidalbel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2015, 05:31 AM   #3
Peter Knutsen
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Europe
Default Re: We're gonna have to rethink the TLs

Should TL be defined by what is possible with a massive economic stretch, i.e. what the ultra-rich can do? Or should TL be defined according to what is normal, by that which is widely available?

NASA put 4 boots on the moon in 1969, as a massive technical endavour. Arguably a pre-mature thing. Had they waited until rocket technology was mature, they could have done it safer and more cheaply.

Likewise, maybe super rich iron age age folks could pay to have 100% deterministic "robots" crafted to act out pre-scripted plays. But that was so far out of rich of ordinary iron age people that it's silly.
Peter Knutsen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2015, 05:35 AM   #4
Arcanjo7Sagi
 
Arcanjo7Sagi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Default Re: We're gonna have to rethink the TLs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anders View Post
Here's an interesting talk on science and technology in the ancient world. These people knew the distance to the moon, that the moon had an eccentric orbit, how large the world was... they had a a grain-grinding mill with 16 large water wheels that produced flour for an entire region, they had automata that could perform plays... maybe it would be more appropriate to put them at TL3 and the Dark Ages at TL 2?
Well, not necessarily. Low-Tech has some examples of this kind of thing. Maybe it's just a TL2 culture with TL 3 or 4 in mathematics or astronomy.
__________________
“He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.”
Arcanjo7Sagi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2015, 06:00 AM   #5
Turhan's Bey Company
Aluminated
 
Turhan's Bey Company's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: East of the moon, west of the stars, close to buses and shopping
Default Re: We're gonna have to rethink the TLs

What about those technologies do you believe conflicts with TLs as they are currently described?
__________________
I've been making pointlessly shiny things, and I've got some gaming-related stuff as well as 3d printing designs.

Buy my Warehouse 23 stuff, dammit!
Turhan's Bey Company is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2015, 06:44 AM   #6
smurf
Finding Neo
 
smurf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Bristol
Default Re: We're gonna have to rethink the TLs

I see them as guides for the complexity of development.

In the early 20th century the beginnings of mechanised food production over shadowed some states wooden ploughs... that is many states had not developed the iron plough. Other places did not use the wheel, in my own city it was believed that wheels would break the cobble stones, so they used sleds until wheels finally replaced them.

Semaphore towers in France and the UK when on to develop telegraphs. Rail net works competed against canals.

Warfare, medicines, energy etc all develop at different rates. Necessity is the mother of invention and therefore it is truly difficult to have a degree of abstraction to cater for the historical development of all humanity.
__________________
You know I am a socialist
http://www.swp.org.uk/
http://www.swp.org.uk/about-us
http://www.swp.org.uk/links/internat...alist-tendency I thought I have some links to hand ;P
smurf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2015, 07:49 AM   #7
Icelander
 
Icelander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Iceland*
Default Re: We're gonna have to rethink the TLs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anders View Post
maybe it would be more appropriate to put them at TL3 and the Dark Ages at TL 2?
I've always had the Hellenic Natural Philosophy Revolution of the 4th century BC usher in TL3 in the rich port cities around the Mediterraneum, with TL2 persisting for a long time outside that favoured zone.

Rome was TL3 for much of its glory days and the Roman East remained TL3 consistently until it became TL4 some time after being conquered by Muslims.

Much of Europe remained TL1 and TL2, with tiny pockets of TL3 where the Romans were. After the fall of Rome, those pockets mostly disappered.

There is no inexorable march of progress towards our illustrious selves. Tech levels go up and down for much of history, not just upwards. They trend upwards for our reference culture, but that's different.*

*And selection bias.
__________________
Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!
Icelander is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2015, 08:10 AM   #8
ericthered
Hero of Democracy
 
ericthered's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: far from the ocean
Default Re: We're gonna have to rethink the TLs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
I've always had the Hellenic Natural Philosophy Revolution of the 4th century BC usher in TL3 in the rich port cities around the Mediterraneum, with TL2 persisting for a long time outside that favoured zone.

Rome was TL3 for much of its glory days and the Roman East remained TL3 consistently until it became TL4 some time after being conquered by Muslims.

Much of Europe remained TL1 and TL2, with tiny pockets of TL3 where the Romans were. After the fall of Rome, those pockets mostly disappered.

There is no inexorable march of progress towards our illustrious selves. Tech levels go up and down for much of history, not just upwards. They trend upwards for our reference culture, but that's different.*

*And selection bias.
Yeah, we had this discussion some other thread, and we came to that conclusion: Rome is TL3, Charlemagne is TL 2. And its not about mathmatics and astronomy. Its about engineering, about communication, transportation, and infrastructure.
__________________
Worlds Beyond Earth -- my blog

Now recruiting in PbP forum!
ericthered is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2015, 08:48 AM   #9
Arcanjo7Sagi
 
Arcanjo7Sagi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Default Re: We're gonna have to rethink the TLs

Well, is not that simple. It depends.

Some historians are Romanophiles. Which means that they have a "too much positive" view of Rome, and see the Middle Ages as a Dark Age, savage and ignorant. Others, like Le Goff or Duby, have a less pessimistic view of the Middle Ages. It's not exactly a consensus on the matter, I think.

I mean, sure, the Romans might have the best engineers, builders and architects, at least for a time. Yes, in some ways, maybe you could consider that the Romans had a more advanced technology than the Germanic tribes, at least in some fields. But I'm not sure how to translate this in GURPS terms. Could be either a TL 2 Roman against a TL 1 Germanic tribes or a TL 3 roman and a TL 2 Germanic tribes. Or even a split TL: in some fields the Romans could have a better TL, but they could be equal.

Some historians suggest that the Germanic tribes had more advanced weapons that the Roman, even if the rest of their technology does not compare to the Romans.

But either way, as far I know,this discussion only applies to the Early Middle Ages. After the XI-XII century, Europe practically begins to recover and perhaps surpass the Roman's technological achievements.

And remember: according to Low-Tech, TL 3 covers many technological inventions, even the most primitive firearms.

(PS: Sorry of any english mistakes)
__________________
“He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.”

Last edited by Arcanjo7Sagi; 02-11-2015 at 08:51 AM.
Arcanjo7Sagi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2015, 08:51 AM   #10
ArchonShiva
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Montréal, Québec
Default Re: We're gonna have to rethink the TLs

GURPS already has realistic ways of handling technology above TL, by pricing it higher and making it less generally awesome. Things above the current TL are entirely allowed to exist, they're just not typical of such a society.

Also, the idea that TL is even across a vast empire is only true in the modern world.

As an aside, where did the "We're gonna have to rethink X" snowclone come from, and why do people willfully use it, in an apparently non-ironic way, since it basically means "I'm wrong about this"?
ArchonShiva is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
science, tech level, technology

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:27 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.