Since the fall of the Architects of the Stars, technology has been on a slow but steady decline. No new innovations are being made, and the people of The Span have enough knowledge to keep the world running under its own momentum…for now.
One side effect of this situation, however, is that technology is not readily available everywhere. the wealthier and more populous areas might be able to acquire the most advanced of gadgets, but newer or distant Wards are not so lucky. This divide of technology has led to a classification system for not only types of technologies, but the towns that employ them.
The first 3 classes (A, B, and C) are what would be considered “Power” technology. Using some form of electricity, light, or other form of energy to work, they are driven by processors and programs. The last three classes (D, E, and F) are known as “Analog” technology, and are chemically, manually, or otherwise non-digitally powered.
These classes are a reference but are not absolute. Sometimes, but not often, two classes of technology are combined to form a single one–a windmill, for example, that provides energy for a small Class D town might also be equipped with a class C computer for monitoring. Generally, one would refer to such things by the technology they are closest to.
Class F – Simple tools
Class F technology comprises the absolute most basic of technology, from a corn-grinding bowl to a setting-maul, is of the simplest form and is common on freshly-terraformed colonies. THis technology has few moving parts, and those that do use simple mechanics and physics to work. Buildings are often made of sod, brick, or in some cases stone. Class F tools are revered by the Blue Hand.
Class F weapons would include clubs, spears, hammers, and slings.
A player might compare Class F tools to cultures of antiquity such as those in Ancient Egypt, Ancient Mesopotamia, and Ancient Greece.
Class E – Simple machines and refined materials
As the refinement of metals and other materials increases, so can the potential for greater growth. At this class, weapons are often edged or sharpened, and transportation moves into the realm of wagons and carriages. Buildings are made of stone and mortar, wood, and other materials.
Class E Weapons include swords, axes, bow-and-arrows, and other melee combat weapons; it may also include single-shot pistols and cannons.
A player might compare Class E tools to those of the European Dark ages through the Renaissance or Japan’s Edo Period.
Trains and carriages are the main modes of transportation for Class D Wards, with buildings being made of cement, stone, and wood. Cobblestone and brick streets wind through towns where soldiers armed with guns and seated alongside cannons prepare to defend their homes.
Class E weapons include Handguns, rifles, and higher-powered cannons.
A player might compare Class D tools to the Old West, Civil War, or Japan’s Meiji Period, up through the late 19th century.
Class C – Military, industry, and machinery
Combustion automobiles replace carriages in Class C towns and cities. Tall buildings fill the more densely populated places, while the outskirts billow black smoke from factories. Steel and iron machinery create tools of war and tools of peace alike. The sky has aircraft in it.
Weapons include high-powered rifles and machine guns, vehicle and aircraft-mounted weaponry, and explosives.
A player might compare Class C tools to those of the more recent modern day, through the industrial revolution up to the computer age.
Class B – The Digital Age
Computers and digital technology replace the valves and wires of Class D computers, devices becoming more powerful and adaptive. Technology brings humankind off the ground into space, and allows for greater luxury as she sits in an encapsulated space station in orbit far above the surface of a planet or moon. Computers can become disgustingly small, and perform amazing functions. Nearly all station-based Wards are Class B and above. The majority of “advanced” colonies are Class B.
Weapons include energy-based weaponry, radiation-explosives, sonic weaponry, and powered melee weapons like tasers.
Players can compare Class B tools to “futuristic” technology from modern computers onward, digital application of computer processors and similar aspects of the science-fiction genre.
Class A – Beyond Computers
When technology converges in form and function, anything can be some form of computer or other. Nanotechnology becomes the norm in the building of materials, and computers can be created with little physical constraint. Technology here is relatively seamless, and considered to be the epitome of technological luxury. the Nanoid cloud that most inhabitants of the Span have is considered in itself Class A technology. There are few things that cannot be done with this level of power.
Class A weapons are rare, highly regulated, and in some cases outright banned for their sheer power, but when encountered often take the form of tools that bend space and matter. Weapons that trap a victim in a quantum state, or create miniature black holes that shred a person apart are not outside the realm of possibility.
Players can compare Class A technology to distantly futuristic technology limited by few constraints.
Class X – Beyond Reality
Class X Technology exists in theory only. Computers no longer constrained by physical forms, with the ability to affect the world in terrifying ways. This technology would not be made by humans at all, but instead be the product of self-aware supercomputers. Infinitely powerful, self-aware, and unquestionably unstoppable, the academics of the Span theorize this technology might already exist, and we would never know it.