Gurps low tech 4e pdf download

Gurps low tech 4e pdf download

gurps low tech 4e pdf download

GURPS Ultra-Lite Core GURPS rules condensed to a single page. guide from 3rd to 4th edition, released as a free PDF file and together with. Weapons, Vehicles, and Gadgets GURPS Ultra-Tech is the sourcebook for science- GURPS Psionic Powers [DOWNLOAD PDF] Free Epub/MOBI/EBooks Geek GURPS 168252: Steve Jackson Gurps 4Th Ed Horror (4Th Edition) Hc Mint. If anyone has the PDF or Download Link of the complete version of GURPS Low tech for you GURPS Fans out there AD&D, 3.5, or 4E? gurps low tech 4e pdf download

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Written by DAVID PULVER, with KENNETH PETERS
Additional Material by WILLIAM BARTON, LOYD BLANKENSHIP, and STEVE JACKSON
Edited by CHRISTOPHER AYLOTT, STEVE JACKSON, SEAN PUNCH,
WIL UPCHURCH, and NIKOLA VRTIS
Cover Art by SIMON LISSAMAN, DREW MORROW, BOB STEVLIC, and JOHN ZELEZNIK
Illustrated by JESSE DEGRAFF, IGOR FIORENTINI, SIMON LISSAMAN, DREW MORROW,
E. JON NETHERLAND, AARON PANAGOS, CHRISTOPHER SHY, BOB STEVLIC, and JOHN ZELEZNIK
Stock # 31-0104

Version 1.0 – May 22, 2007

STEVE JACKSON GAMES

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Adjusting for SM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

About the Authors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
About GURPS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

EQUIPMENT STATISTICS . . . . . . . . . . . 16

1. ULTRA-TECHNOLOGY . . . . . . 5

POWER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

AGES OF TECHNOLOGY . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
TL9 – The Microtech Age . . . . . . . . 6
TL10 – The Robotic Age . . . . . . . . . 6
TL11 – The Age of
Exotic Matter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
TL12 – The Age of Miracles . . . . . . 7
Even Higher TLs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
TECH LEVEL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Technological Progression . . . . . . . 8
TECHNOLOGY PATHS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Conservative Hard SF. . . . . . . . . . . 9
Radical Hard SF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
CyberPunk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Nanotech Revolution . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Unlimited Technology. . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Emergent Superscience . . . . . . . . 10
High Biotech . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Retrotech . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Safe-Tech . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Psi-Tech . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
GADGET CONTROL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Creating an Equipment List. . . . . 11
Preventive Measures . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Retroactive Measures . . . . . . . . . . 12
BUYING EQUIPMENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Black Markets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Legality and Antiques. . . . . . . . . . . 14
WEAR AND CARE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Maintaining Gadgets. . . . . . . . . . . 14
Repairing Gadgets. . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Powering Gadgets . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

INTEGRATING AND
MODIFYING EQUIPMENT . . . . . . 15
Plug-in Gadgets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Combination Gadgets . . . . . . . . . . 16
Gear for Nonhumans . . . . . . . . . . 16

2. CORE TECHNOLOGIES . . . . . 18
Power Cells. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Generators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Energy Collection . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Beamed and
Broadcast Power . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Civilization and Power. . . . . . . . . . 21
COMPUTERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Hardware . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
AI: Hardware or Software? . . . . . . 23
Software . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Using a HUD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Ubiquitous Computing . . . . . . . . . 25
ROBOTS AND TOTAL CYBORGS . . . . . 26
Digital Intelligences. . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Drones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Superhuman Minds and the
Singularity. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Renting Robots. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Cyborgs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
MACHINES AS CHARACTERS . . . . . . . 27
Machine Intelligence Lenses . . . . 27
Biomorphic Lenses . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Meta-Traits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Attributes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Advantages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Purchasing Machines. . . . . . . . . . . 29
Disadvantages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Perks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Quirks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Skills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Robots and Society. . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Robots in Action . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Cinematic Combat . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Controlling and
Reprogramming AIs . . . . . . . . 35
Swarmbots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

PERSONAL GEAR AND
CONSUMER GOODS . . . . . . . . . . 38
Personal Items . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Clothing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Entertainment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
Recreation and
Personal Robots. . . . . . . . . . . . 41

3. COMMUNICATIONS, SENSORS,
AND MEDIA . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
COMMUNICATION AND INTERFACE . . . 42
Communicators. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Encryption . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
Receive-Only or
Transmit-Only Comms. . . . . . . 46
Translators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
Neural Interfaces. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Networks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Mail and Freight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
MEDIA AND EDUCATION . . . . . . . . . . 51
Recording and Playback. . . . . . . . 51
Virtual Reality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
Augmented Reality . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
Sensies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
Mass Media . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
Teaching and Learning Aids . . . . 59

SENSORS AND SCIENTIFIC
EQUIPMENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
Passive Visual Sensors . . . . . . . . . 60
Indirect Passive Sensors . . . . . . . . 61
Active Sensors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
Combination Sensors . . . . . . . . . . 66
Scientific Equipment . . . . . . . . . . 66

4. HOUSING, TOOLS, AND
SURVIVAL GEAR . . . . . . . . . 68
HOUSING AND FOOD . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
Domestic Equipment
and Appliances. . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
Housing and Construction . . . . . . 71
Foodstuffs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73

GURPS System Design ❚ STEVE JACKSON Production Manager ❚ MONICA STEPHENS Marketing Director ❚ PAUL CHAPMAN
GURPS Line Editor ❚ SEAN PUNCH
Art Director ❚ WILL SCHOONOVER
Sales Manager ❚ ROSS JEPSON
Editorial Assistant ❚ CHRIS MAKA
Production Artist ❚ ALEX FERNANDEZ
Errata Coordinator ❚ ANDY VETROMILE
Indexer ❚ NIKOLA VRTIS
Production Assistance ❚ THOMAS WEIGEL
GURPS FAQ Maintainer ❚ –––––––
Page Design ❚ PHIL REED and ––––
Print Buyer ❚ MONICA STEPHENS
STÉPHANE THÉRIAULT
JUSTIN DE WITT
Lead Playtester: Jeff Wilson
Playtesters: Alexander Borghgraef, Frederick Brackin, Ken Burnside, Henry J. Cobb, Douglas Cole, Shawn Fisher, Erik Funk, Anthony Jackson,
MA Lloyd, Elizabeth McCoy, Onno Meyer, and Hans-Christian Vortisch
GURPS, Warehouse 23, and the all-seeing pyramid are registered trademarks of Steve Jackson Games Incorporated. Ultra-Tech, Pyramid, and the names of all products
published by Steve Jackson Games Incorporated are registered trademarks or trademarks of Steve Jackson Games Incorporated, or used under license.
GURPS Ultra-Tech is copyright © 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2003, 2006 by Steve Jackson Games Incorporated. All rights reserved. Printed in Thailand.
The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal,
and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage
the electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

2

CONTENTS

EXPEDITION GEAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
Lights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
Navigation Instruments . . . . . . . . 74
Containers and Load-Bearing
Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
Survival and Camping Gear. . . . . 75
Environmental. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
Exploration, Safari, and
Salvage Robots. . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
Crossing a Gravity Gradient . . . . . 79

TOOLS AND CONSTRUCTION
MATERIALS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
Tools and Tool Kits . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
Worker Robots. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85
Heavy Equipment, Salvage,
and Rescue Gear . . . . . . . . . . . 87
Demolitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
MANUFACTURING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
Industrial Equipment . . . . . . . . . . 89
Future Economies . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
Memory Materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
Von Neumann Machines. . . . . . . . 92
PSI AMPLIFIERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .94

5. COVERT OPS
AND SECURITY . . . . . . . . . . 95
DECEPTION AND INTRUSION . . . . . . . 95
Burglary, Infiltration,
and Sabotage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95
Forgery and Counterfeiting . . . . . 96
Disguises and Smuggling . . . . . . . 97
ECM and Stealth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
Computer Intrusion . . . . . . . . . . 100
SECURITY AND SURVEILLANCE . . . . 101
Barriers, Mines, and Traps. . . . . 101
Future Crime . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101
Security Scanners . . . . . . . . . . . . 104
Surveillance and
Tracking Devices . . . . . . . . . . 105
Counter-Surveillance
and ECM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106
ENFORCEMENT AND COERCION . . . 106
Forensics and Lie Detection . . . 106
Restraint and Riot
Control Devices . . . . . . . . . . . 107
Interrogation, Brainwashing,
and Animal Control. . . . . . . . 108
Black Ops Robots . . . . . . . . . . . . 110

6. WEAPONRY . . . . . . . . . . . . 112
Weapon Tables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112

BEAM WEAPONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113
Lasers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113
Chemical Infared Lasers . . . . . . . 114
Electrolaser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119
Microwave Weapons. . . . . . . . . . 120
Neural Weapons . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121
Particle Accelerators . . . . . . . . . . 122
Sonic Weapons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124
Plasma Weapons . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127
Gravity Weapons . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128
Nucleonic Beams . . . . . . . . . . . . 130
Reality Disruption Beams . . . . . 131
Psionic Beams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132

Options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132
Hotshots and Overheating. . . . . . 133
FLUID PROJECTORS . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134
Sprays. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134
Vortex Ring Projectors . . . . . . . . 134
GUNS AND LAUNCHERS . . . . . . . . . . 135
Conventional and
ETC Guns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135
Gas Powered Air Guns . . . . . . . . 139
Electromagnetic Guns . . . . . . . . 141
Grav Guns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143
Gyrocs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144
Rockets and Missiles. . . . . . . . . . 145
Hand Grenades . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146
Typical Weapons by TL . . . . . . . . 148
FIREARM ACCESSORIES . . . . . . . . . . 149
Targeting Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . 149
Smartgun Electronics . . . . . . . . . 149
Other Accessories . . . . . . . . . . . . 150
WARHEADS AND AMMUNITION . . . . 152
Conventional . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152
Nuclear and Antimatter . . . . . . . 156
Energy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157

BIOCHEMICAL AND
NANOTECH WEAPONS . . . . . . . 159
Gases and Clouds . . . . . . . . . . . . 159
Foams and Liquids . . . . . . . . . . . 160
Poisons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161
Metabolic Nanoweapons . . . . . . 161

MELEE AND THROWN
WEAPONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 162
Physical Weapons . . . . . . . . . . . . 162
Energy Weapons . . . . . . . . . . . . . 164
COMBAT ROBOTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167
Warbots and Androids . . . . . . . . 167
Robot Weapons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168

7. DEFENSES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170
Materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170

BODY ARMOR AND
PROTECTIVE GEAR . . . . . . . . . 171
Body Armor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 171
Tailoring Armor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174
Rigid Body Armor. . . . . . . . . . . . 176
Environmental Gear
and Suits. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 176
POWERED SUITS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181
Exoskeletons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181
Battlesuits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182
Typical Armor by TL . . . . . . . . . . 186
DEFENSE SYSTEMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . 187
Other Defenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 187
FORCE FIELDS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 190
Force Screens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 190

CONTENTS

Bodyguards. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 190
Force Shields . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192
Nuclear Dampers . . . . . . . . . . . . 193
Stasis Webs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 193
Other Force Fields. . . . . . . . . . . . 194

8. MEDICAL AND
BIOTECH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 196
BIOMEDICAL EQUIPMENT . . . . . . . . 196
Medical Gear . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 196
Medical Robots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 202
Psychiatric Equipment . . . . . . . . 203
Biotech Equipment. . . . . . . . . . . 204
Drugs and Nano . . . . . . . . . . . . . 204
Biotech Techniques . . . . . . . . . . . 206

CYBERNETICS AND
UPLOADING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 207
Body Modifications. . . . . . . . . . . 208
Brain Implants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 215
Remote-Controlled
Cybernetics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 215
Implanted Digital Mind . . . . . . . . 216
Cybernetic Uplift . . . . . . . . . . . . . 218
Total Cyborg Brain
Transplants. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219
Uploading. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219
Downloading Minds . . . . . . . . . . 220
Low- and Very-Low-Res
Copies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 220
Campaign Effects of
Uploading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 221

9. VEHICLES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 222
Planetary Travel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 222
Space Travel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 223
VEHICLES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 224
ATVs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 224
PERSONAL VEHICLES . . . . . . . . . . . . 225
Flying Cars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 225
TANKS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 226
HOVERCRAFT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 227
MINISUBS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 228
DIVER PROPULSION SYSTEMS . . . . . 228
TILT-ROTOR TRANSPORT . . . . . . . . . 229
UTILITY VERTOL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229
GRAV BIKES AND PLATFORMS . . . . . 229
Microplanes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 230
Flight Packs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 230
Zero-G Thrusters. . . . . . . . . . . . . 231
DROP CAPSULES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 232
MATTER TRANSMISSION . . . . . . . . . 233
Technologies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 233
MT Booths . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 233
Telegates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 233
Teleport Projectors . . . . . . . . . . . 234
Dimension and Time Travel. . . . . 234
Mind Voyages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 235

BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . . . . . . . . . . 236
INDEX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 237

3

INTRODUCTION
GURPS Ultra-Tech is a sourcebook of science-fiction
gadgets and weapons. It’s a resource for space, alternate
future, techno-thriller, cyberpunk, or supers games – any
setting that requires technology from tomorrow and
beyond.
The equipment described within spans the “future” tech
levels from TL9 (a few decades from now) to TL12 (the age
of miracles). The emphasis is on personal gear of all sorts,
from hyperspectral goggles and neutrino communicators
to gamma-ray laser rifles and dreadnought battlesuits.
Ultra-Tech also provides plenty of details on future
medicine, but since GURPS Bio-Tech covered genetics,
biomods, and drugs, this book emphasizes hard tech –
cybernetics, ultra-tech medical equipment, neural interfaces, and mind uploading. As technology advances, the
line between man and machine may become increasingly
blurred. Ultra-Tech provides rules for establishing the
capabilities and limitations of artificial intelligence, as well
as templates for robotic or total cyborg bodies, from handy
technical ‘bots to shapeshifting nanomorphs.
Ultra-Tech is a catalog for players, and a resource for
the GM. Ultra-technology can propel adventures into
action, add color and atmosphere to a science-fiction
setting, serve as the object of a quest, or power a villain’s
sinister design. There’s no need to make every gadget in this
book available at once – that can be overwhelming! It’s up
to the Game Master to decide exactly what gear to use . . .
but to help out, we’ve provided a chapter of suggestions on
integrating equipment into the game and establishing
alternative technology paths so that the technology fits the
campaign.

PUBLICATION HISTORY
This is the third edition of GURPS Ultra-Tech; it has
been revised to the GURPS Fourth Edition rules. The oldest material included here dates back to the three chapters
of equipment in the first edition of GURPS Space (by Steve
Jackson and William A. Barton). This material was incorporated into GURPS Ultra-Tech (by David Pulver). GURPS
Ultra-Tech 2 added more gadgets, including some adapted
from GURPS Cyberpunk (by Loyd Blankenship). Material
in the present edition was also inspired by technology in
GURPS Psionics, GURPS Robots, and Transhuman
Space.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS
David L. Pulver lives in Victoria, British Columbia. He
has been a science-fiction fan and avid gamer for most of
his life. He is a co-author of the GURPS Basic Set, Fourth
Edition, and has written or co-authored over 60 other gaming books, including GURPS Bio-Tech, GURPS Robots,

4

GURPS Psionics, BESM 2nd Edition, and Transhuman
Space.
Kenneth L. Peters lives in Post Falls, Idaho. He is an
anthropology buff and a sergeant in the United States
Marine Corps Reserve. He is the author of Transhuman
Space: Spacecraft of the Solar System, and a co-author of
Transhuman Space: Under Pressure and several
Shadowrun books.

About GURPS
Steve Jackson Games is committed to full support of GURPS players. Our address is SJ Games,
P.O. Box 18957, Austin, TX 78760. Please include a
self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) any time
you write us! We can also be reached by e-mail:
info@sjgames.com. Resources include:
Pyramid (www.sjgames.com/pyramid/). Our
online magazine includes new GURPS rules and
articles. It also covers the d20 system, Ars Magica,
BESM, Call of Cthulhu, and many more top games
– and other Steve Jackson Games releases like
Illuminati, Car Wars, Transhuman Space, and
more. Pyramid subscribers also get opportunities to
playtest new GURPS books!
New supplements and adventures. GURPS continues to grow, and we’ll be happy to let you know
what’s new. For a current catalog, send us a legalsized SASE, or just visit www.warehouse23.com.
e23. Our e-publishing division offers GURPS
adventures, play aids, and support not available
anywhere else! Just head over to e23.sjgames.com.
Errata. Everyone makes mistakes, including us –
but we do our best to fix our errors. Up-to-date errata sheets for all GURPS releases, including this
book, are available on our website – see below.
Internet. Visit us on the World Wide Web at
www.sjgames.com for errata, updates, Q&A, and
much more. To discuss GURPS with SJ Games staff
and fellow gamers, come to our forums at
forums.sjgames.com. The GURPS Ultra-Tech web
page is www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/ultra-tech/.
Bibliographies. Many of our books have extensive
bibliographies, and we’re putting them online –
with links to let you buy the books that interest you!
Go to the book’s web page and look for the
“Bibliography” link.
Rules and statistics in this book are specifically
for the GURPS Basic Set, Fourth Edition. Page
references that begin with B refer to that book, not
this one.

INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER ONE

ULTRA-

TECHNOLOGY
The trouble with commanding the Imperial Secret
Service’s clandestine Galactic Operations Directorate, Colonel
Erasmus reflected, was that whenever you had an unexpected caller, it was always bad news.

Today’s visitor was Merlin, the AI who ran the psychohistory division. It didn’t waste any time.
“I have some very bad news,” said the Artificial
Intelligence.
Colonel Erasmus forced a smile. “Of course you do.” The
AI’s avatar, who seemed to get younger each time they met,
shimmered before his desk. “I’m a little busy.”
“You’ll be busier. We have an evolving singularity in the
local bubble.” Merlin waved a hand, and a holographic projection of the Terran Sector materialized, extending across
time and space. “Observe. The Bubble client states – here.
And here . . .”
“An expansionist threat from the Thearchy of
Buckminister?” Erasmus shook his head in disbelief.
“You’ve fried a circuit, Merlin. They’re a safe-tech civilization, steadily regressing to retro-tech. If they
invade, it’ll be the Ludenburg Star Empire all over
again.” He smiled wistfully. “Infantry with
auto-rifles and steel helmets, pouring out of
hyperdrive ships . . . I even saw some horse
cavalry. It was almost fun.”
“This won’t be. Your data is obsolete,
Erasmus. The new synod’s given its backing
to the Accelerationist faction in the clergy –
scientific progress now glorifies the Creator. I’ve
plotted their cultural dynamism. Take a look at
this.”
Holographic equations appeared, hanging
in the air. It had been a while since Erasmus
had taken techno-sociology, but he could still
decipher them. “A radical superscience culture
in 40 years?”
“So I predict. They’re got their own AIs now.
Last month, they began experimenting with
nanotechnology. Combine that with their existing FTL technology . . .”
“Apocalypse now. I get it. Unfortunately, all
my operatives are a little busy.”
“Anything important?”
“Preventing a nuclear war. Tracking down
several grams of stolen antimatter. Finding a missing
princess. The daily grind. I expect results soon.”
“Tell them to hurry.”
GURPS Ultra-Tech is a catalog of technologies and
equipment from TL9 (extrapolations of existing developments) to TL12 (devices that verge on the miraculous).
This chapter provides general background and rules for
ultra-technology, along with guidelines for adjusting the
availability of equipment in a campaign.

ULTRA-TECHNOLOGY

5

AGES

OF

TECHNOLOGY

The following is an overview of a typical sequence for
the development of ultra-technology.

TL9 – THE MICROTECH
AGE
Major advances occur in the material science, especially in the fabrication of nano-scale materials, the
development of composite materials, and in polymer-based
electronics. This leads to the widespread use of devices
such as printed computers, flexible batteries, and bio-compatible implants, as well as products such as video wallpaper and chameleon suits.
Micro-mechanical electromagnetic systems – tiny sensors and actuators – drastically shrink many electronic and
mechanical devices. The results are dramatic, ranging from
vehicle surfaces that can change their aerodynamic properties to labs-on-a-chip and artificial gills.
Fuel cells and gas turbines are miniaturized and used as
power cells for electronics and other portable devices. On a
larger scale, nuclear fusion and solar power free society
from dependency on fossil fuels, although they may remain
economically important.
Computers, sensors, and communicators are faster,
smarter, and smaller, and can be built into almost anything.
Wearable computers are inexpensive.
Quantum computers can solve problems and break
encryption by computing every possible solution at once,
but quantum communication systems trump that with
unbreakable encryption. Neural interfaces link mind and
machine, and cybernetic implants do not merely replace
injured body parts, but actually enhance them.
Mobile robots are commonplace, used in everything
from nursing to vehicle operation to combat. However, they
lack self-initiative, and many are teleoperated. Androids
that can look human (even if they don’t act human) are
expensive but available.
Improvements in material technology lead to affordable
space transport systems, such as single-stage-to-orbit shuttles or space elevators. Cheaper access to orbit may boost
other space technology, such as nuclear engines for interplanetary journeys, beamed power from solar satellites,
and life support technology. Industry and even colonists
may go into space, taking advantage of the gravity-free
environment to mine asteroids or develop better industrial
processes.
Small arms technology still relies on conventional guns
(with improved ammunition and smart electronics) but
specialized non-lethal energy weapons such as electrolasers and sonic nauseators appear. So do the first bulky
laser sniper rifles, heavy electromagnetic railguns, and
laser cannon.
Antimatter is now routinely manufactured. It’s used in
medicine (as a radiation source) but is too expensive to be
used as a fuel or explosive. It is still useful in space propulsion and weaponry, as a catalyst for triggering “clean”

6

nuclear explosions. Mini-nukes increase the risk of nuclear
war by blurring the boundaries between conventional and
nuclear arms.
Body armor advances even more rapidly than weapons.
Comfortable climate-controlled suits can protect the entire
body, and space suits become lightweight vacc suits.
Advances in micro-turbines and robotics make powered
suits feasible, both exoskeletons (for civilian and military
applications) and battlesuits.
Perhaps the most significant developments are in
bioscience. Functional organs can be grown with tissue
engineering and transplanted into the body. Wonder drugs
and other treatments can be delivered in smart capsules.
Not all diseases are cured, but lifespans may increase substantially.
Superscience: Monomolecular wire and plasma weaponry are developed. It’s common for faster-than-light drives,
parachronic travel, reactionless drives, or other superscience transport systems to appear. TL9 cultures can
spread out rapidly to other worlds.

TL10 – THE ROBOTIC AGE
Artificial intelligence becomes smarter and cheaper, and
the first volitional AIs – machines that can think like people
– appear. Inexpensive sapient machines are commonplace.
Swarms of tiny microbots can be built, and biomechanical
nanomachines can perform prodigious feats of medicine
and genetic engineering.
People who can afford to take full advantage of TL10
medicine may live for centuries or more. As science gains a
greater understanding of the human mind, more complex
neuro-tech and cybernetics become available . . . it’s possible to cybernetically possess bodies, control minds, and
record sensory information.
Molecular nanotechnology is routinely used in manufacturing. Many products can be self-assembled “from the
bottom up” using methods analogous to the way biological
organisms grow. The tools used are biomechanical in
nature, combining proteins and engineered viruses with
metals and other inorganic materials. Bio-nanomachines
construct most biotech products and are used in medicine
and genetic engineering, but molecular manufacturing is
still limited to making specialized components and
products that can be assembled in “wet” environments.
Macro-scale products using metals, semiconductors,
diamond-hard materials, and ceramics still rely on “top
down” manufacturing techniques.
One example of the new bio-nanotech products is pseudoalive polymers that are capable of self-repair. These “living
bio-plastics” make a range of tough, lightweight, and selfmaintaining equipment possible.
Material and power generation technology continues
to improve. Super-strong composite materials are relatively inexpensive. Weapons technology takes a quantum
leap with the development of power cells that can power

ULTRA-TECHNOLOGY

effective man-portable electromagnetic guns and highenergy lasers, although conventional weapons may remain
in use with smarter ammunition. Nuclear fusion reactors
are small enough to power battle tanks and fighter-sized
spacecraft.
Superscience: Gravity control technology leads to artificial gravity and contragravity being used in personal vehicles, houses, and weapons, as well as reactionless space
drives. Nuclear dampers can neutralize the threat of
nuclear weapons. New superscience weaponry becomes
available, notably plasma guns and exotic sonic beams.

TL11 – THE AGE
EXOTIC MATTER

OF

Technology achieves precise control over the atomic
structure of objects. A mature molecular nanotechnology
is available, capable of inexpensively fabricating most
products with atomic-level precision. Nanofactories
(pp. 91-93) make products out of diamond-hard material
(“diamondoid”).
Not everything can be built in nanofactories, however.
The most advanced TL11 products tinker with the subatomic structure of matter to create exotic materials. This
may involve replacing electrons with super-massive particles (such as muons) to create hyperdense matter.
Depending on its stability, this may be used as a catalyst for
fusion reactions (resulting in more compact power plants),
or as a component in computer hardware, armor, and other
equipment.
Antimatter is another exotic material that comes of age
at TL11. As its price of manufacture drops, it begins to see
use as a means of compact energy storage. Antimatter rocket engines are also available.
A vast array of powerful beam weapons are now available, including portable particle beams (blasters) and X-ray
lasers. In response, armor becomes stronger and smarter,
and is usually made of diamondoid composites and exotic
alloys. Most armor is powered, from skintight smartsuits to
nuclear-powered dreadnought battlesuits.
Nanotechnology dominates medicine. The standard way
to heal someone is to take him apart (using the chrysalis
machine) and put him back together again in perfect condition. Minds can be copied without destroying the original
body.
Superscience: Contragravity is miniaturized, resulting
in personal flying belts and small, hyper-agile robot missiles. Force screen generators protect vehicles and installations, but are not yet suitable for personal use. Ranged
gravity projectors are available, leading to tractor and
pressor beams and gravitic weapons. Hypergravity technology can produce stabilized hyperdense armor and
compact nuclear reactors. Matter transmission can teleport people from place to place, as long as there is hardware to send and receive. Superscience sensors can “scan”
for just about anything, and even see through walls.
Ranged neurotech devices such as dream nets and neural
disruptors are introduced. Recorded minds can be played
back into living bodies.

TL12 – THE AGE
MIRACLES

OF

TL12 societies use their understanding of the universe
to produce devices and effects that are incomprehensible to
less advanced cultures. The TL11 advances in nanotechnology and exotic matter are fully integrated into civilization,
along with new devices such as living metal, gamma-ray
lasers, and self-replicating nanomachine swarms.
Simple pills can regenerate the body in a matter of
hours, or grow new cybernetic implants a matter of days.
Pocket antimatter reactors power vehicles, and spaceships
and cities run on total conversion of mass to energy. Entire
planets can be moved, or disassembled to build a shell
around a star. Devastating personal weapons are developed,
while nanomachines can directly imprint consciousness
into human brains.
Most aspects of a TL12 civilization can be run by intelligent machines, and most people might be machines,
whether wholly or in part. Sentient robots could reproduce
themselves rapidly, spreading like a plague to terraform (or
eat!) a planet in a matter of months, or build any industry
that is required. Raw materials are easy to come by. While
asteroid belts may be already used up, TL12 cultures can
dismantle Jupiter-sized gas giants for parts.
Of course, if several TL12 nations existed in the same
area and no one wanted to leave, they would soon run out
of gas giants. Then things might get nasty . . .
Superscience: Matter transmitters can “beam up” or
“beam down” without a receiving booth at the other end.
Regeneration rays may supersede nanotechnology for
rapid treatment of injuries. Force fields can alter the flow
of time. Disintegrators and reality disruptor weapons
can destroy almost any target that is not protected by
superscience defenses. Fortunately, personal force fields
and stasis fields can stop them.

Even Higher TLs
Incredibly advanced technologies are difficult to
conceptualize, never mind use in play. Even so, it’s
hard to resist the question of “What’s next?”
One option is to assume an age of technological
stagnation sets in. TL12 science may answer all the
fundamental questions of the universe, and technological progress may not be possible. There is no
TL13; science catalogs what exists rather than
explaining it. Engineering is no longer about invention, but merely application.
Another possibility is to continue a straight-line
progression. TL13 devices are like TL12 but weigh
or cost half or two-thirds as much, and so on. Or
superscience developments can have their TL
bumped up to TL13+. They may represent bold new
inventions, or artifacts from civilizations that ruled
the galaxy eons ago.

ULTRA-TECHNOLOGY

7

TECH LEVEL
Tech Level (TL) is an index of a society’s average
technological achievement, especially in its baseline
technology.

TECHNOLOGICAL
PROGRESSION
How quickly a society advances in Tech Level can be a
crucial element of a science fiction setting, especially one
that proceeds from Earth’s present.
A rapid pace of technological change lets the GM add
advanced technology to our own world without having to
make many changes in present-day culture or international politics. Most cyberpunk worlds are examples of this.
Rapid change suggests a dynamic society that is struggling
to come to terms with the latest developments.
At the other extreme, many events common to science
fiction settings require centuries or millennia: the establishment of large extraterrestrial populations, the rise of
new civilizations or empires, or the terraforming of planets.
If the GM wants to combine these long-range social and
political developments with TL9 or TL10 equipment, it’s
necessary to have a slow pace of technological change. This
may take the form of a superscience technology (such as
FTL travel) appearing at TL9, followed by a long period of
slower technological growth.
The table below depicts five examples of TL progression:
accelerated, fast, medium, slow, and retarded. Each has a
set of “typical” start dates for TL9+ technologies, from the
perspective of a present-day terrestrial human baseline in
which TL8 began around 1980. These progressions can
easily be adapted to other start dates for alien or alternatehistory cultures.

TL Progression Start Dates
TL Accelerated
9
2020
10
2050
11
2100
12
2200

Fast
2025
2075
2200
2600

Medium
2030
2120
2500
4000

Slow Retarded
2040
2050
2200
2500
3000
7000
8000 20000

Accelerated progression is extremely fast, in keeping
with some optimistic futurist or transhumanist speculations. At this speed, humans will reach TL12 before we
can do much in the way of colonizing the universe.
Perhaps we won’t even bother, if the “inner space” of
nanotechnology and virtual reality provides everything
we need.
Fast progression is an optimistic pace of development
which recognizes that societies take some time to assimilate technologies. It assumes that the pace of invention
begins to flag as certain fundamental physical limits are
approached; it’s harder to play with atomic or subatomic
technologies.
Medium progression could result from “bumps in the
road” such as wars or disasters, or the influence of political movements or religious orthodoxy that impose a
cautious approach to the sciences. This provides plenty
of time for humanity to establish interstellar colonies or
change society drastically without progressing beyond
TL10.
Slow progression might be the result of multiple wars,
resource exhaustion, or powerful anti-technology movements that put the brakes on progress. A slowly developing
society may have organizations devoted to controlling
“dangerous” technology.
Retarded progression usually stems from technological
stagnation, often in conjunction with a Dark Age that causes a major decline or fall of civilization. This gives plenty of
time for interstellar empires to be established without technology changing humanity beyond recognition, and pushes
the development of TL12 civilization into the very far
future.
Other options can also exist. A civilization could reach a
particular TL plateau and then freeze or regress due to cataclysmic events or social changes. A society might be
stymied by physical limits, such as one that develops underwater or on a world with few metals. Societies could also
take a path where the main TL remained constant, but
where steady progress was made in superscience, or even
in psionics or magic.

TECHNOLOGY PATHS
The standard GURPS tech levels represent just one of
many paths that describe how different technologies
pace one another in development. The tech levels of the
various items in this book should be treated simply as
guidelines – a culture may develop some technologies
more rapidly than others. This might result from
accident, economics, a ban on research in certain areas,
or the way the laws of physics work in that particular
universe.

8

Apply the Split Tech Level rule (p. B511) as liberally as you
wish to simulate a particular world or genre. For instance, in
a “cyberpunk” society, computing, bionics, and biotechnology might be one or two TLs more advanced. In contrast, a
“retro-tech” setting that mimics 1940s sci-fi might have computers frozen at TL6 but other technologies anywhere from
TL9 to TL12. Any combination is possible! A few “alternative
technology” concepts appear below. Feel free to use them,
modify them, combine them, or create your own.

ULTRA-TECHNOLOGY


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