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Old 02-13-2015, 11:07 AM   #41
Polydamas
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
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Default Re: We're gonna have to rethink the TLs

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
Well, yes, but Anders wasn't the guy who came up with TLs, or the one who wrote the 4/e version of them, or an author of any of the 4/e tech supplements. So his "we" cannot be taken as an admission of his own error; rather it's a way of suggesting that various other people were in error.
Similarly, many of the less historical ideas about TL seem to be "gamer memes" more than things which appear in published rules. You and your colleagues who write GURPS books about preindustrial technology seem to word things carefully and do the best you can with the system you have to work with ... its just that that system is not the best for describing the differences between societies or the way technology changes over time. It is much more of a system than most games provide, and that is something!
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Old 02-13-2015, 11:12 AM   #42
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: We're gonna have to rethink the TLs

One thing that might be useful, although would require a bit of work to produce and shape, would be TL Lenses.

For instance you could have an Opressive Religionism Lens, or a Slave Economy Lens. Each such Lens would then be applicable to most (ideally all, but that's too optimistic) socities that fit its definition, and modify TL sub-components to be more realistic.
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Old 02-13-2015, 11:33 AM   #43
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: We're gonna have to rethink the TLs

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Originally Posted by Peter Knutsen View Post
One thing that might be useful, although would require a bit of work to produce and shape, would be TL Lenses.

For instance you could have an Opressive Religionism Lens, or a Slave Economy Lens. Each such Lens would then be applicable to most (ideally all, but that's too optimistic) socities that fit its definition, and modify TL sub-components to be more realistic.
That sounds more like economics than technology. It might apply to one of the low Tech companions.
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Old 02-13-2015, 11:41 AM   #44
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: We're gonna have to rethink the TLs

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
That sounds more like economics than technology. It might apply to one of the low Tech companions.
Economics that starkly and pervasively affects effective TL.
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Old 02-13-2015, 11:51 AM   #45
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Default Re: We're gonna have to rethink the TLs

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Originally Posted by Polydamas View Post
Similarly, many of the less historical ideas about TL seem to be "gamer memes" more than things which appear in published rules. You and your colleagues who write GURPS books about preindustrial technology seem to word things carefully and do the best you can with the system you have to work with ... its just that that system is not the best for describing the differences between societies or the way technology changes over time. It is much more of a system than most games provide, and that is something!
If I had the ability to do a TL system de novo, I would have Paleolithic and Neolithic as two different TLs, and merge classical and medieval.

But in a great degree, the GURPS system is designed to emulate the progress of military endeavor. TL0 is tribal warbands; TL1 is chariots; TL2 is heavy infantry and elastic catapults; TL3 is heavy cavalry, counterweight artillery, and castles; TL4 is firearms, field artillery, and star forts. . . . All this is focused on what a battle is like, and also is mostly Eurocentric. And that's not an unreasonable choice in terms of the kinds of games players mostly want; it's just not primarily meant as a tool for simulation.
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Old 02-13-2015, 12:40 PM   #46
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Default Re: We're gonna have to rethink the TLs

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If I had the ability to do a TL system de novo, I would have Paleolithic and Neolithic as two different TLs, and merge classical and medieval.
Agreed. Note, however, that the difference between Iron Age and Classical is pretty huge, no matter what metric we use. There are plenty of TL2 societies, in that they use iron and have moved past chariots to actual cavalry, that nevertheless did not have Graeco-Roman artillery, economics, engineering, infrastructure, shipping, transportation, etc.

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
But in a great degree, the GURPS system is designed to emulate the progress of military endeavor. TL0 is tribal warbands; TL1 is chariots; TL2 is heavy infantry and elastic catapults; TL3 is heavy cavalry, counterweight artillery, and castles; TL4 is firearms, field artillery, and star forts. . . . All this is focused on what a battle is like, and also is mostly Eurocentric. And that's not an unreasonable choice in terms of the kinds of games players mostly want; it's just not primarily meant as a tool for simulation.
Still doesn't do all that great a job of simulating that, at least not if we insist on a Whiggish progression instead of recognising that TLs can be achieved and lost in places and has been, in real history.

There were TL2 armies of heavy cavalry, supported by light cavalry and mounted archers.

TL2 mechanical artillery in GURPS is mostly clearly better for its weight than TL3 artillery, which is a consequence of both being based on real designs and Roman field artillery being clearly superior to any field artillery until gunpowder.

If you don't care at all about weight, then there are some TL3 artillery pieces that might have a role in a society which still has access to Graeco-Roman designs, but then you're using siege weapons and it has little influence on what battles are like.

As for castles marking TL3 over TL2, it's not as if even a Eurocentric view has engineering and stone construction from 600 AD to 1000 AD being superior to Roman building. Different, sure, but not qualitatively superior. Even if we take the latter half of TL3, after 1000 AD in Northern Europe, the castles are not technologically superior to Roman fortresses, they just represent different things in sociological terms. The distinction is whether it is a private residence or not.

It's fairly meaningless to most gamers and not very logical to say that Launceston Castle is a new TL3 technical development called 'castle', but Diocletian's Palace is a TL2 structure and less technologically advanced.
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Last edited by Icelander; 02-13-2015 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 02-13-2015, 01:07 PM   #47
ArchonShiva
 
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Default Re: We're gonna have to rethink the TLs

Like much of GURPS, I see TLs as a tool - it's easy to say the Augrishtan Dwarves are TL4, with TL3 medicine and TL5 mining and explosives, but without military applications for explosives above TL3. I can then go on adding and removing specific techs to for a complete whole. This is far more efficient than taking all three tech books and making a speradsheet indicating what societies have what techs and tools individually.

Even historical societies will be described by comparison to known societies, so the system works great there as well.

I think the main issue comes from expectation that TLs should be a strict "build upon the previous TL" universal progression that every society should follow perfectly. It's just a benchmark using relevant but anecdotal examples, or reasonable hyotheses for TL9+.
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Old 02-13-2015, 01:24 PM   #48
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Default Re: We're gonna have to rethink the TLs

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Economics that starkly and pervasively affects effective TL.
Not in my opinion.

It probably involves a min-definition of "TL" also. If you look at constant value theory of the Gurps $ TL only affects the Average Starting Wealth.

Socio-economic schemes that make some people wealthy (like slave-owners) at the expense of others (such as slaves) aren't affecting the _average_ starting wealth. They certainly aren't enabling higher TL.
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Old 02-13-2015, 03:15 PM   #49
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: We're gonna have to rethink the TLs

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There were TL2 armies of heavy cavalry, supported by light cavalry and mounted archers.
Heavy cavalry is a generic classification. It just means "they wear metal armour". What kind of armour were they wearing?
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Old 02-13-2015, 03:19 PM   #50
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Default Re: We're gonna have to rethink the TLs

I believe DanHoward said that Charlemagne's cavalry weren't required to wear armor. I would say that heavy cavalry involves using lances as shock weapons.
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