Tech Levels on Dark Sun?

the discussion of Dark Sun Tropes got me thinking about tech levels on Dark Sun. Though there are always rare magical, psionic or life shaped artifacts, where would you say the tech level of most tablelanders is?

Tech Level
  • Stone Age
  • Bronze Age
  • Iron Age
  • Renaissance
  • Industrial
  • Post-Industrial

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And maybe what I’m really interested in as how common psionic tech and artifacts are:

psi tech spread
  • Slaves use it daily
  • Commoners have access
  • Only rich merchant houses or noble houses can afford them
  • Only the Sorcerer Monarchs use them

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And to provide some examples:

  • Slaves are marked with psionic seals that identify them as slaves and who they are owned by, they must use these seals to get their food and water allotment for the day and it can be used to track their movements and punish them.
  • Commoners may have psionic locks on the homes of their doors or on the chest where they keep their coins. They may, on occasion, avail themselves of the services of a Truth Teller to learn if their spouse is adulterous or the services of a Mentat to predict demand in the cloth market.
  • Merchant houses may have a Telepath on staff to communicate with their outposts as well as Mind Readers to steal the secrets of their competitors.
  • Nobles may have psionic crystals lighting their homes or eternally flowing fountains powered by psionic pumps. The richest nobles hold parties on levitating barges, floating lazily through the cool evening breezes.
  • Perhaps the gates of the city are powered by psionic valves controlled by the City Guard and the main thoroughfares are lit by psionic lanterns. Crystalline surveillance orbs float above important intersections in the city, monitoring the populace.
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My idea is more to the effect of WHERE the different tech levels lie in Athas.


Do you mean the psionic tech level, magic tech level, lifeshaping tech level, the science tech level, or some combination thereof?

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A combination of all.
I kinda assumed magitech would not be much visible in most human settlements given their fear and hatred of wizards?

Well, I’m famously against magic in all forms, so I just thought I’d ask to be sure.

I think that the tech levels would vary on “Modern” Athas. Psi would be higher, magic would be low, except for the Government (conspiracy theories, anyone?) who obviously sponsors fear via Templars. Science would be mostly low, with the remnants of very high (ie: Lifeshaping, if you go the science route for this), and the same for lifeshaping if you don’t link it to science.

I’ve gathered this, but I don’t understand why. Can you explain?

see here: Why one should NOT magic

I assume this is a callout to the Jagged Cliffs region?

For me, if you’re in the city states its the merchants or nobles who have access to this. Yes psionics are common but psionic artifice is rare and equivalent to spellcaster services on other worlds.

Villages and outposts might or might not have access to psionic tech, depending on the personnel there.

Exceptions would be Saragar, where psionic tech is available to ordinary citizens in the city (albeit less as the ages wear on), Giustenal, where I can see Dregoth restricting Green Age psionic tech to his palace, templars and defilers, amd New Kurn, where I imagine psionic tech and magical improvements are quite common, but more for public good, not personal use.