Tech Level

[Reprinted from Player’s Guide to the Wilderlands, with expansions and embellishments noted in italics.]

Technological level indicates the general advancement level of a location and the knowledge of the citizens of the area regarding crafts. Items reflecting a higher-tech area may be available at a location with a lower techn level, but they will have been imported and if for sale will be much more expensive than normal. The tech level also indicates the availability of base character classes, some of which are dependent on a certain degree of civilization. This is a rough guide and Judges should use their sound discretion.

Included is a related arcane level, representing the advancements of magic and/ or psionic understanding in the population of a given TL. In the Wilderlands, assume that the AL of a given are is one point higher than the TL of the area. Unless specifically noted in a locale’s description, understanding of psionics lingers at one-fifth the general AL (rounded down). The arcane level of an area indicates the highest level of spells and powers available without independent research; spells beyond the AL simply aren’t available enough for characters to acquire automatically through gaining levels.

Arcane and technological levels require a certain amount of work (energy) to maintain.  In most of the Wilderlands, there is enough of a “critical mass” of culture and effort to maintain a 1 or 2, and ratings of 4 or 5 are common in even the smallest hamlets.  Major trade destinations have ratings at 7 or above.  If the location does not have a broad base of support (a region with a tech/ arcane level within 1 or 2 ranks of the location), then the rating is precarious, and likely to slip when disaster strikes.  The higher the level, the broader the support network must be.  Most empires that have reached 10 or higher have crashed because they concentrated their power too much, neglecting the prosperity of neighboring territories.  Without a broad base of support, the mighty cities are easily toppled.

# Tech Level Arcane Level
0 papyrus, stone, wheel, hide armor, classes (commoner, warrior) classes (augur, adept, witch, binder)
1 stirrup, waterwheel, bronze, leather armor, bronze breastplate, shortsword, classes (aristocrat, barbarian) potions, tattoos, power stones, classes (sorcerer, druid, ranger, wilder, amazon warrior)
2 agriculture, rudder, iron, classes (fighter, rogue) mana storage, classes (cleric, wu jen, psychic warrior, dragon shaman, soulknife)
3 sundial, linen, candles, broadsword, studded leather armor, classes (expert, skald) scrolls, classes (bard, paladin, warlock)
4 lantern, chariot, felt, scale armor, classes (monk, scout) wands, dorjes, classes (wizard, psion)
5 screw, windmill, silk, steel, longsword, classes (knight, duskblade) rods, staves, classes (halo knight, morphean, spellthief)
6 crossbow, chain armor, spinning wheel, classes (ninja) rings, psicrowns, classes (shadowcaster, beguiler, marksman)
7 hourglass, stagecoach, bastard sword, concrete, classes (sage) golems, classes (warmage, devoted psion)
8 knitting machine, compass, plate armor, fireworks power words
9 rockets, glasses, Damascus steel (finest masterwork items), pendulum clocks, primitive firearms and cannon, classes (alchemist) classes (duskblade, society mind, worldthought medic)
10 telescope, calculus, sextant, spring-wound clocks, more firearms and pistols epic-level spells
11 steam power, complex clockwork, bicycles, compulsory education, postal system classes (truenamer)
12 industrial machines, metal seacraft, rifles, reinforced concrete mana transfer conduits
13 synthetic fabrics, internal combustion, electricity, telegraph, dirigibles lifespan extension, temporal suspension
14 electric lighting, mechanical flight, aluminum construction, mechanical adding machines permanent consciousness transference
15 electronics, wireless radio, telephone, television, automatic rifles perfect temporal suspension

Tech Level

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