So many people, planets, and factions in Ethnis. Nothing is evenly distributed, light speed isn't fast enough, and superluminal speeds aren't much better. Technology doesn't disperse evenly. People make things faster than other people can make them safe.
Some fellow on Victoriana publishes plans for a plasma pistol to grenade conversion kit, and three weeks later some Aen kid on Jhoutai accidentally blows out the 45th story of his house by improving on the design. TV networks rush to the spot, half of them trying to turn it to propaganda and the rest just trying to fill space between programs. His story is broadcasted to the stars. The original creator blasts his brains out for having indirectly killed a kid, every faction goes into skirmishes over his property to get the grenade schematic for use in battle, and three weeks later the news report finally hits the news, by which time most of the factions have haphazardly spread their (untested) grenades into the battlefields.
There's too much going on to think. The factions only look like they've got their shit sorted but really there's hundreds of trillions of people and nobody knows what's happening.
All this just to find out the grenades explode the instant you pull the pin.
— Arta Val, engineer
The Tech Clades
Because of the variety of sciences and meta-sciences available in Ethnis, three distinct Clades of technology have emerged.
Classification of Tech Clade is done only the Component level because it is common for any assemblage of technology to incorporate Components of multiple Clades. Because of the hobbyist-driven market, Classification is done from a consumer perspective, and so is typically classified by referring to the Materials a Component is made from.
Techs are specifically complicated technologies, not just simple materials. Pressed metals don’t count as Mecha just like a chunk of bone doesn’t count as Orga. It needs to be something with functionality, such as a microwave (mecha) or a heart (orga). You may convert raw materials like metals, minerals, biomass, and the like into useable Mecha, Meta, and Orga Material respectively with the right stations.
Action and Reaction. Mecha is the technology of interaction—mechanisms, electronics, chemistry, and the like. It's the most accessible tech of the three, as it doesn't require the tools of Orga and the presence of metaphysics which Meta does.
Mecha is lauded as being one of the more reliable Clades of Tech, but at a cost of higher production. Mecha performs best in cities, established colonies, and within the hub, where there's always a ready amount of supplies and shops for upgrades and repair.
Mecha is utilizes forged, cast, or chemically created materials such plastics, metals, glass, and porcelain. Examples include Meissner Antigravity, SuperGlass and Nav Beacons.
Orga is the Tech of Genestructs, MutOrgs, Biomimicry, and Bioweapons. Among the Clades it's the youngest, but is as widespread as the other two thanks to the modern demand for genetic manipulation, Body Sculpt, and medical enhancement. Modern implements, such as CRISPR Injectors and GeneForge Tables allow people in the field to modify and create Orga Tech with relatively low overhead. Orga performs best on the frontier, where the massive diversity of the creatures from world to world affords plenty of opportunity to find and synthesize new Traits into helpful tools. Because Orga Tech is living, the bearer must keep it fed.
Orga utilizes raw complex organic materials such as organs, or synthesized, modified, and manufactured parts. Examples of Orga Tech include living armor, dermal papillae active camouflage, Behemoths, and organ implants.
Meta is the Tech of Eidolons, Imbuistry, and Golems. Among the Clades it's the newest for Humanity but tied for oldest for the Verin, who have been using it in some form or another for the last 20 millennia. It takes the most skill to create, but the amount of Material needed to create something useful is lower than with other Tech, and the Materials are easier to refine and synthesize once found. Meta Tech performs well in any place with a regular supply of ambient Metaphysical Energy.
Meta utilizes highly-refined gemstones prepared for Meta containment called Casks, as well as refined metals, advanced textiles, and Sentimental Relics. Examples of Meta tech include Meta Lattices, Golems, Wands, and Psiolic armor.
Technology within Ethnis is quantified by several technological quantifiers.
Objects or technologies may have additional metaphysical properties; they will either be Mundane, Imbued, or an Affinity.
Mundane objects have no metaphysical properties.
Enchanted objects have metaphysical properties coded into them.
Affinity objects have a soul and may have Focus or Monolithic properties. As with Monoliths, Affinities have multiple ranks of strength.
Every project has a difficulty. This determines how difficult it is to complete and how many checks it will take.
Primitive Primitive items have basic utility and can be built from almost anything. Drafting is simple to a layman and crafting is fairly plug and play. Examples: a stone axe, a rag turned into a basic breathing filter, a wall of stone and mud.
Simple Simple items are akin to the Trivial in that they’re something most could conceptualize, but require stronger materials. They’re still easy enough to make with primitive tools. Examples: Leather, brick and mortar, rawhide. Drafting is simple to an amateur; crafting has some assembly required.
Moderate Moderate items require the unpowered tools of a Toolkit: scalpels, screwdrivers, saws, and so forth. Most of them have processed parts or a mechanical component. Examples: Drafting is simple to a hobbyist; crafting is hands-on.
Advanced Advanced items require a high mechanical precision to create or powered tools from a Toolkit to create and upgrade: welders, benders, CRISPR Array, etc. Drafting is simple to a pro; crafting takes work and dedication.
Intensive Intensive items require fine-tuned fabrication or programming to support advanced input or configurations. Drafting is simple to a master; crafting is an intense process.
Coveted Coveted items are those rarely seen in the wider universe, powerful examples of where technology may go, or has gone before being forgotten. Drafting is simple to a god; crafting it would break the limits of most.
Pivotal Pivotal items have such great ramifications that they may change the future of their field. Even if they’ve been invented there’s constantly new things discovered about them that changes the face of society. Drafting daunts gods; crafting is incomprehensible.
The possible outcome(s) of the technology, as well as what merits the rating and the projected odds of the outcome(s) coming to fruition. Potential is plotted on a Scope/Intensity Grid inspired by the work of Nick Bostrom, expanded out to modern timeline and scale.
Scope is determined based off of how many Sophont may be affected.
During assessment, the Scope is written based on whether the risk is Direct or Vectored. If it's a Direct Influence then a quantifying adjective (such as personal, local, etc) will be used to describe it, otherwise its Scope will be measured in Interspheric Degrees.
An Intersperic Degree is everyone within relevant social interaction of the Origin, such as friends, family, coworkers, and frequent acquaintances.
The notation for Interspheric Degrees is OXI, where X is the variable for the number of degrees and O represents the Origin.
Personal Influence, a single person, the Origin of O0I Local Influence of ~500; anyone within O1I Regional Influence of ~25'000; anyone within O2I Global Influence of ~500 mil; anyone within O3I Galactic Influence of billions; anyone within O4I Cosmic Influence of all life; anyone within O5I
Influence is quantified as Direct or Vectored.
Direct Events Events such as explosions or mass vaccinations, which affect a more reliable and quantifiable area or set of people.
Vectored Events Events which spread outwards from person to person with some sort of behavior, such as in a disease or a memetic. Vectored Potentials are quantified in measures called Interspheric Degrees.
The intensity of a threat is determined by how negatively it affects those influenced by it. A threat may be global in Scope but more just inconvenient than problematic.
Benign Present long-term positive outcomes which move things in a direction of greater peace, health, or joy. Examples of this include getting a new, larger home (personal) or an economic boom (global).
Imperceptible (Non-Threat): The Risk is present but has no major positive or negative effects. An Imperceptible Risk can range from nicking yourself while shaving (personal ) to the ubiquitous but unimportant presence of hologram cosmetic wear (cosmic).
Endurable Presents long-term effects which will have to be worked around, such as having a personal and valuable possession stolen (personal), or the loss of keystone creatures within an ecosystem (global).
Terminal A threat to the continued existence of life within the Scope. This can either be caused by mass-death or by some circumstance which prevents genetic material from being passed on or new life from being created.
Existential A terminal threat so severe that it may not only eradicate all life within its scope, but maybe impossible to overcome or prevent new life from being established within the remains. This may be planetary destruction or a perfect disease.
Nanotech presents a Vectored O5I Existential Potential of triggering a grey-goo scenario wherein it devours all lifeforms and enters into an hibernative state that prevents life from ever appearing within its influence again.
Nuclear Armaments present a Direct Regional Terminal Potential from the original explosion with Global Endurable risk from the resultant fallout.
A recent Hologram Contact Lenses fad presents a Vectored Global Imperceptible potential as the fashion spreads from group to group.