Conworld Setting Rating Systems: Realism Rating and Culture Rating by John R. Canter

Constructed worlds (conworlds) for fictional settings vary in terms of technology, the presence of magic, how closely they stick to reality, and even a degree of cultural advancement. This article builds on content from other sources, which has been reproduced here. The Tech Rating system comes from the True20 role-playing game (though it was originally Progress Levels from the d20 Modern system), and the Supernatural Rating system also comes from True20, both of which are reprinted here (with minimal modifications) under the Open Gaming License (included at the end of the article). The subsequent Realism Rating and Culture Rating systems are personal creations of mine; feel free to use them or build on them for your own world creation, but attribution is appreciated.

Tech Ratings

Technology is a driving force behind the plot of any science-fiction story. The heroes and antagonists of science fiction make use of a wide range of technological weapons, defenses, and tools. Devices shape the setting in which these characters live, influencing travel, trade, business, communications, and virtually every other area of life. Your choices regarding which technologies are widely available and which are limited or unavailable will have a significant impact on your science-fiction setting.
The tech rating (TR) indicates the technology available in a particular society or civilization. Technological development pervades all aspects of a culture, particularly at higher levels (TR 5 and beyond) when long-range communication is virtually instantaneous. Even at lower levels, it’s unlikely – but not impossible – for a group of humans (or other sentient beings) to be at one tech rating in some respects but not in others. Tech ratings may vary wildly from place to place on the same world or even the same continent.
Tech ratings are a measure of technological progress only. A society may be very advanced technologically, but still be fairly backwards with regard to its social development’ (hence Culture Rating, below)‘. Likewise, a society with stone-age technology could be socially or spiritually advanced.
TR 0: Stone Age The major achievements of a Stone Age society are the use of fire, the domestication of animals, and the invention of agriculture. An individual living in a Stone Age society is primitive, but isn’t necessarily gullible, stupid, or easily frightened by advanced technology. Common weapons in a TR 0 civilization include the club, the dagger, the spear, and the bow. Armor made from hide or leather is possible, as are wicker shields. Communication beyond the local tribe or settlement doesn’t exist. Travel is accomplished by foot or by simple rafts or canoes. Simple pottery, stone-working, and woodworking are possible.
TR 1: Bronze/Iron Age Early human civilizations learned to work metal toward the end of the Stone Age. The malleability of copper made it the first metal to be “tamed.” Adding tin to copper created bronze, which allowed tools and weapons of great durability to be crafted. In turn, those improved tools made ironworking possible, replacing bronze as the metal of choice for tools and weapons.
In a Bronze/Iron Age society, advances in pottery, construction, and agriculture allow for the concentration of populations into larger groups, with a corresponding upswing in the accumulation and sharing of knowledge. The rise of nations, city-states, and empires begins in the Bronze Age. Organized efforts to improve communications allow regional societies to exist. Galleys and small sailing vessels are capable of longer voyages; some cultures build extensive road or canal networks to link distant places. Improvements in agriculture permit the rise of artisans, craftsmen, professional soldiers, and other occupations not directly concerned with gathering food.
The sword replaces clubs and daggers as the preferred infantry weapon. Chariots briefly dominate warfare before cavalry (aided by the introduction of the stirrup) renders them obsolete. The first true military forces and tactical systems appear. Armor can now be made from sewn plates or scales, metal links, or even forged breastplates. A variety of metal melee weapons dominate the battlefield.
TR 2: Middle Ages Maturing civilizations experience a period of turmoil and adjustment during the Middle Ages. Developments continue in architecture, commerce, metallurgy, and mathematics. Wider dissemination of information becomes possible thanks to advanced printing techniques. Sturdy seafaring carracks and galleons open the door to future advances.
As population grows and knowledge of agriculture evolves, cities and towns grow larger. Toward the end of this age, feudal systems begin to collapse. Specialized crafts develop, universities appear, and the middle class is born. The first corporations emerge in the form of trade guilds. The evolution of strong systems of trade and finance distribute a society’s wealth more evenly, diluting the power of the nobility.
Tools of warfare undergo a significant revolution. Sophisticated chain and plate armors protect warriors from harm, and elaborate fortifications become both art and science. Toward the end of the Middle Ages, the introduction of simple gunpowder weapons signals the end of knights, heavy armor, and organized armies of swordsmen.
TR 3: Age of Reason The Age of Reason is an era when the development of ideas takes precedence over technological invention. Experimentation becomes the means by which the physical properties of nature are systematically examined. The study of scientific disciplines – chemistry, electromagnetics, medicine, biology, and astronomy – flourishes. Instruments such as microscopes and telescopes enable scientists to greatly extend the range of their observations and discoveries.
The new reliance on science generates waves on all levels of society. Superstition falls away world exploration reaches its apex. Society begins to experiment with new forms of government. Corporations and economic alliances continue to evolve.
The cannon becomes the dominant factor in naval warfare, while massed musket fire and horse-pulled field pieces rule the battlefield. The bow vanishes, replaced by the flintlock. Light melee weapons remain common.
TR 4: Industrial Age At this tech rating, the theoretical knowledge of the previous era matures into widespread practical applications. The harnessing of hydraulic, steam, and electric power creates an explosion of commerce and industry. Developments such as the telegraph, telephone, and radio make global communication possible. Breakthroughs in manufacturing techniques allow the construction of heavy ironclad vessels, rail transportation, and architecture of previously unimaginable size. Pioneers venture high into the atmosphere and descend into the sea’s depths.
Urbanization is complete as individuals gather in smaller environments where they can more easily exchange goods and information. Corporations expand in power, many establishing themselves throughout the explored world. Governments are based on political and economic factors.
Warfare changes swiftly through the period. Aircraft and submersibles join the list of military assets. Reliable and accurate rifles, pistols, and machine guns become common. Mechanized war machines herald the first great change in the art of battle since the end of the knight.
TR 5: Information Age In the Information Age, computer technology and electronics rule supreme. Satellite information systems and the Internet connect the globe digitally. This era also sees the introduction of fission power, reducing the importance of fossil fuels. The automobile replaces the locomotive as the common form of travel. The first steps toward space travel involve massive chemical rockets, unmanned probes and satellites, and short-term manned missions.
The technology of the era also allows greater citizen participation in government. The emergence of international alliances begins to dissolve borders between nations. Corporations gather power and threaten government authority.
Most weapons at this time are refined versions of Industrial Age equipment. Rifles, machine guns, and heavy howitzers are still used by the world’s soldiers. Computerized targeting systems and guided weapons make warfare much more precise and efficient. Strategic weapons of mass destruction, tested but never used, exhibit the species’ power to exterminate itself in minutes.
TR 6: Fusion Age The development of fusion power provides an efficient, nonexpendable energy source that almost obliterates the need for chemical fuel sources. Advanced space exploration and colonization become possible. Computers become even more accessible, reliable, and powerful, leading to the development of virtual systems and widespread access to the global Internet.
Slowly, individual nations are replaced by world powers including megacorporations, as the line between national citizen and corporate employee is rendered indistinct. Armed with the means to eradicate the entire species, world powers keep conflicts to the level of skirmishing and posturing. Integration of the Information Age’s improvements proceed peacefully.
Scientific advances in genetic engineering lead to the first attempts to genetically manipulate human beings. Early results are encouraging, with the manifestation of positive and negative mutations in the species toward the end of the age. Scientists also perfect cloning technology; the first human clones are created. In the later years of this age, the first crude applications of gravity induction technology appear, in the form of vehicles that can move through the air without using physical propulsion or consumption of fuel.
Chemical-powered explosives and firearms remain the weapons of choice; fusion technology can’t be effectively miniaturized for personal combat. Nevertheless, advanced chemistry and superconducting technology change the materials and capabilities of many weapons. True spaceships become possible, propelled by powerful fusion drives, but still requiring a reaction mass to traverse space. The age sees the tenuous settlement of other planets and asteroids within the same star system.
TR 7: Gravity Age At this tech rating, two key technologies herald humanity’s climb to the stars. The gravity induction reactor replaces fusion power as a more efficient source of energy that can be miniaturized with ease. World powers explore, divide, and colonize the entirety of the local star system. At the same time, however, life on the home planet is unchanged.
The second advance of the era brings perhaps the greatest upheaval in the history of human civilization. The introduction and integration of gravity induction technology leads to the creation of the induction engine, which allows starships to bridge the gap between the stars. Political and economic reorganization occurs as the species spreads far from home.
Projectile firearms are in their last days as crude energy weapons become available. Powered armor is available to warriors of this age. Personal (melee) weapons enjoy a resurgence, due in large part to a shift in military tactics – armed conflict between individuals seldom occurs on an army scale, but more frequently involves engagements of small units in conditions where ranged weapons are not effective.
Computer technology links every society, settlement, and outpost of a star system in a single information net, creating an unparalleled exchange of data for business, entertainment, and research.
TR 8: Energy Age The continuing miniaturization of induction engine technology allows power plants the size of marbles to harness the basic forces of creation. Powerful personal force screens and energy weapons dominate the battlefield, as projectile weapons finally disappear after ruling the battlefield for a thousand years. Miniaturized sensors, shields, and engines allow mass production of small, practical starfighters. At the other end of the spectrum, advanced construction techniques allow humans to build enormous, self-sustaining cities in space.
TR 9 and Higher These tech ratings are beyond reach or comprehension, although isolated worlds or undiscovered species may exist that have access to them. Practical control of matter at the subatomic level, the ability to travel through time, or the power to “fold space” to shorten travel distances may be possible at this stage of technological development.’

Supernatural Ratings

Since fantasy is defined by its supernatural elements, it is important to define the degree of influence supernatural forces have in the setting. This can be achieved by assigning one of the following supernatural ratings (SRs) to the setting.
SR 0: Non-Fantasy A campaign with this SR has no supernatural powers, dragons, elementals, fey, outsiders, supernatural beasts, undead, or any other element of the supernatural. If gods exist in this world, they are distant and do not intervene in the affairs of mortals in any obvious way. If there are constructs in the setting, they are entirely technological in nature. SR 0 campaigns are typically not considered fantasy, but might have a place in a pulp-inspired setting.
SR 1: Forgotten Lore At this level, heroes are not allowed to acquire or use supernatural powers – such powers restricted to a very few elite Narrator characters. No one can achieve more than 7 levels of adept, thereby capping power ranks at +10. Aberrations, dragons, elementals, fey, monstrous humanoids, outsiders, supernatural beasts, and undead are rare or nonexistent. Few people in this campaign are aware the supernatural exists, possibly not even the heroes. Any encounter with the supernatural will be extremely unnerving, and onlookers may risk terror or even insanity. Some of the flashier supernatural powers such as Apport, Blink Teleport, Elemental Aura, Elemental Blast, Imbue Life, Self Shaping and Teleport do not exist.
SR 2: Emerging Arcana Heroes cannot begin as adepts at 1st level. At least half their character levels must be in a heroic role other than adept. Some Narrator characters may be exempt from this restriction. Nobody can achieve more than 10 levels of adept. Most people are unaware the supernatural exists, but the heroes and other knowledgeable Narrator characters know of it, even if they do not understand it. Those who use supernatural powers may risk corruption, mutation or madness. Some of the flashier supernatural powers such as Apport, Blink Teleport, Elemental Aura, Elemental Blast, Imbue Life, Self Shaping and Teleport do not exist.
SR 3: Low Magic In a low magic setting, the Narrator should discourage more than one or two of the heroes from becoming adepts. He may choose to require them to take at least one level of expert before gaining any levels as adepts. Most people in such a setting are aware magic exists, but few truly understand it. Your average Narrator character will be extremely distrustful of anyone who displays supernatural powers or traits.
Nobody can achieve more than 13 levels in the adept role. Those who use supernatural powers may risk corruption, mutation or madness. Some of the flashier supernatural powers such as Apport, Blink Teleport, Elemental Aura, Elemental Blast, Imbue Life, Self Shaping and Teleport are unavailable to the heroes, if they exist in the setting at all. All power check Difficulties for these powers are increased by 10.
SR 4: Rising Tide In an SR 4 campaign, supernatural things and events are common enough that not everyone fears them automatically. Nobody can achieve more than 16 levels in the adept role. Some of the flashier supernatural powers such as Apport, Blink Teleport, Elemental Aura, Elemental Blast, Imbue Life, Self Shaping and Teleport have their power check Difficulties increased by 5, if they exist in the setting at all.
SR 5: Dawn of Magic In an SR 5 setting, there are no restrictions on the number of adept levels any character may achieve. Travel to other planes of existence may be possible, but is rare. This is the default assumption for any campaign with adepts and supernatural powers.
SR 6: High Arcana In an SR 6 setting, non-adepts may use feat slots to purchase 4 ranks worth of supernatural powers in a similar manner to the Skill Training feat. Ranks in various supernatural powers may be purchased in this way up to a maximum rank equal to the hero’s total level + 3, divided by 2. Supernatural items and creatures may become fairly common in such a setting, possibly even being bought and sold in stores or markets for a high price. Divine intervention in mortal affairs may occur on a semi-regular basis, including relationships and even procreation with mortals.
SR 7: Everyday Supernatural This level of supernatural influence allows non-adepts to use feat slots to purchase supernatural powers at a rank equal to the hero’s total level + 3, divided by 2. Lower the Difficulty of all fatigue saves for supernatural power use by adepts by 5. In such a setting, magic may have evolved right along with technology or replaced technology altogether. Divine intervention in mortal affairs is fairly commonplace, and the descendants of gods are many. Many adventures may involve traveling to other worlds or planes of existence.
SR 8: World of Wonders In a world of wonders, astonishing sights punctuate the landscape. It is not uncommon to see castles built on the tops of clouds, to have the dead come back to life, or to meet a divine being during a casual walk. Heroes may be on a first name basis with gods and perform unimaginable feats. As with SR 7, non-adepts may use feat slots to purchase supernatural powers at a rank equal to the hero’s total level + 3, divided by 2. The Difficulty of all power checks and fatigue saves for supernatural power use are lowered by 5 for adepts. Fantastical possibilities such as time travel may be possible at this stage.
SR 9 and Higher This level of supernatural activity reaches beyond comprehension. The laws of nature are bent and broken through supernatural means, to the point where they have become largely irrelevant.’

Realism Rating

Just as different modes of fiction have different Technology Ratings and Supernatural Ratings, there is also a scale of realism that can be used to characterize a setting. This scale indicates how closely to reality as we know it a setting or work sticks to, or, by how much it deviates: how fantastic, unrealistic, or downright surreal it may be. See also TV’s Sliding Scale of Realistic Versus Fantastic.
RR 0: Hyper-Realism     Hyper-realism is even more real than normal mundane reality. It aims to expose misconceptions in many of the things that we think are true to be inaccurate. Nothing is ever contrived. Examples may include non-fiction, real-life conscious experience, and live unedited footage of real-world events, divorced from opinion or objective bias. Very few things, especially of fiction, would be considered hyper-realism.
RR 1: Mundane Reality     The world is defined only by what knowledge and science can describe; anything outside experience or explanation is impossible. Things like everyday problems people face often take center stage: the focus is on the reality of the people, not the reality of the world. In a mundane reality, death is absolutely final, and it is impossible to return to life from death (and like reality any afterlife is unknowable). The existence of speculative creatures (for example magical spirits or intelligent extraterrestrials) is not up for consideration: it is understood they are not present in our world. Examples may include the films Titanic and Saving Private Ryan, the TV show The Sopranos, and most documentaries and news reports.
RR 2: Mostly Mundane The world is realistic and mundane, with very few breaks from reality, mostly for the sake of entertainment or because it is how we (inaccurately) think the world is. Otherwise, it is the world we know, or think we know. When something unusual happens, it is realistic, and often takes most of our attention. There are very few contrived instances, and these may be the focus of the story, as they are strange and out of place. Examples may include the TV shows Law and Order and ER.
RR 3: Unrealistic Reality The world still is just like real life, but for the sake of style and an interesting story, things may be over-the-top, more dramatic, cooler, funnier, or sexier. Events are still realistic, but may be contrived for story purposes. Some of the names may be changed but the essence of that thing will still be recognizable to the audience. If someone appears to come back from the dead, it’s because they were never actually dead in the first place, and had survived elsewhere while the rest of the story was happening. The existence of speculative creatures (like spirits or aliens) may be considered, but is vague, usually with a mundane (partial) explanation instead. Examples may include most sitcoms, police and law procedural TV shows, medical dramas, the TV show The West Wing, the movie Forrest Gump, and the film series Lethal Weapon.
RR 4: A Little Unusual The world is unrealistic, but also has one or two deviations from reality as we know it. It may be a mundane story told from the perspective of a dead character, or it may be a mundane or realistic world that is explicitly not our own. The story may explore a piece of present-day technology a little more advanced than our own but which is both plausible and not commonplace. Examples may include the TV show Desperate Housewives, the film series James Bond and The Dark Knight Saga, and the TV show House, M.D.
RR 5: Unusual Happenings The world has more than a few deviations from reality, even though it is otherwise familiar. Technology may be extrapolated from what already exists today (as in most hard science fiction), presented as accurately and with as few inconsistencies as possible. The supernatural might show up a few times, but only in a way that doesn’t break realism, always with a partial mundane explanation to onlookers. Returning from death is actually possible, but extremely rare and difficult, and may be the focus of the story. Speculative creatures can and may actually be real, but if they are their existence is not common knowledge. In there is a more fantastical oddity, it is the singular focus of the story. Examples may include most horror, magic realism, and hard science fiction, such as the film series Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park, the film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, the TV show The Simpsons, and the graphic novel Watchmen.
RR 6: Lower Fantasy The breaks from reality are more common than to be just unusual. This tone may alternate between the unusual and the fantastic at times, but will still maintain internal consistency. If there is some advanced technology that runs counter to the real world, it is a single thing that may be exploited in different but logically consistent ways. The possibility of returning from death and/or the presence of speculative creatures may be more common, and while they exist and may be known they may not be so fantastical or numerous; they are still considered exceptional things. Examples may include the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion, the film series Pirates of the Caribbean, the cartoon Scooby-Doo, and the TV shows Doctor Who and The X-Files.
RR 7: Fantastic World This is not the real world – it’s governed by the fantastic, whether it’s advanced science, magic, superpowers, or otherworldly creatures, but each of which has rules and limits. The world itself may be different, with different geography, history, and factions. Death is not necessarily permanent and people can return to life, but it is difficult and often requires effort on someone’s part. Speculative creatures are present, and likely the focus of the setting and major elements of the story. Ultimately, though, the fantastic is still internally consistent. Examples may include most of speculative fiction: soft science fiction, fairy tales, DC and Marvel superhero comics, the book trilogy The Lord of the Rings, the video game series Pokemon, the TV shows Stargate SG-1 and Star Trek the Next Generation, and the film series Star Wars.
RR 8: Unchained Fantasy The fantastic elements are even more common than in a regular fantasy world, and less likely to be consistent and unlikely to be scientific. As with the difference between the mundane and the unrealistic, for the sake of style and an interesting story things may be over-the-top, more dramatic, cooler, funnier, or sexier, even if it doesn’t make sense in the story. Alternatively, a story’s tone may fall in this category if it is quite surreal but at times fairly consistent in its presentation. Examples may include the TV shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel; the anime Digimon, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle and One Piece; the Discworld book series; and the video games Super Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong.
RR 9: Surrealism If there are any rules at all they are inconsistent and whimsical. Things happen whether they make sense or not, usually for the sake of comedy. Death is rarely permanent, with people dying and coming back for no real reason. Speculative creatures are so common and well known that even the strangest creatures are treated as regular neighbors or coworkers. Examples may include the book Alice in Wonderland, the podcast series Welcome to Night Vale, and the cartoon shows Family Guy, Futurama, and Looney Tunes.

Culture Rating

Just as different modes of fiction have different Technology Ratings and Supernatural Ratings, there is also a scale of cultural advancement that can be used to characterize a setting. Just because a society is technologically advanced doesn’t mean they have high cultural achievement, nor does the presence of magic in a setting require an unequal society like some of the European Middle Ages. This scale indicates “how cultured” a society is: while perhaps a loaded concept here it means, essentially, how good (or bad) would it be to live in that setting as an average person outside of wealthy society. (Understandably, since this posits the qualities of politics, economics, and social norms, many may take issue: you are encouraged to adjust it to meet your own perspective if you find it to be at terrible fault. This scale is only a suggestion – thoughts gathered and written down.)
CR 0: Dystopia The Worst Nightmare, the mythical and implausible low society can devolve into. In order to function at all society requires slavery, often importing large numbers to replace those killed from abuse and overwork. War, either external or civil, rages without end, and there are none of the current generation who can recall any time of peace for their people (and many do not want peace). Absolute power is concentrated in a single abusive individual, with no one else having any ability to stop them. Steady wealth and employ is not possible due to the tumult in society as people fight against each other in endlessly low spirits and viscous self-preservation. At a more basic level survival is regularly cut short by daily violent crime and fighting.
CR 1: Failing Most power is in the hands of very few individuals; corruption is so common that to get anything done in governance bribery is required in all situations. Social mobility is impossible, as one’s station in life is predetermined and locked-in by one’s hereditary family. Outside cultures would consider this society to be mere barbarians, often shunned or suppressed by any that might manage to conquer or have people of this nation. Most kinds of crimes are common, weekly or almost daily occurrences, especially violent crime. If there are non-humans (or those considered to be non-humans) it is seen as acceptable to exterminate them.
CR 2: Low Society opposes other nations and ethnicities, often importing foreigners as slaves. Even among citizens forced labor is common. Things are in constant conflict through exterior wars or civil unrest. What poor governance society has is usually paralyzed, dysfunctional, or unstable due to abuses of power, factionalism and backstabbing. The state of learning is such that book-burning is not uncommon, and society cultivates no aesthetics. People are rude, lack nearly any self-control, and revel in entertainment from blood sports and indulgence of narcotics. Life is often cut short from violence, drugs, or the strain of toil and sickness. Criminals are publicly humiliated and either serve life-terms or receive public executions, which are seen as public spectacles.
CR 3: Struggling Some demographics, such as women and people of other ethnicities, are subjugated, while LGBT people and persons with handicaps are outcasts. Most people have large families with many children who die early on and provide little care for them, and for cultural or economic reasons contraception is rare or illegal. People insist on their culture and language when dealing with others, having few intellectual pursuits. The people keep an anti-intellectual warrior culture, preferring battle to diplomacy and engaging in regular conquest without consolidation. Society needs reform but it is largely not possible; power is concentrated in few individuals, with corruption and bribery common. The police are essentially inquisitors, often using torture to deal with the rampant violent crime. Most people live in places with poor infrastructure, living in cramped squalor. What rare medicine is available is only available to the privileged.
CR 4: Poor On average, life is mostly not good. People are segregated based on ethnic background, religion, and naturalization status. The states are fragmented into different nations. Although slavery is being questioned by society it persists. There is limited suffrage and power is not well distributed in the population. Harsh corporal punishments, such as the death penalty, are used for some crimes, and courts and people assume guilt before innocence. The age of consent is young, with some places that have young girls marrying old men. Education is uncommon and illiteracy is is not. People resolve their problems with antagonistic competition. Trade is irregular, and many times wealth, taxes and resources go wasted. There is often poor hygiene and limited public sanitation, and the lack of mental health services is such that suicide is not an uncommon option for many.
CR 5: Improving On average, life is mostly good. When there’s a problem people communicate with each other, and often cooperate. People are at least tolerant of those of other religions, ethnicities, and foreigners from other places. The age of consent is older, with a culturally-delayed adulthood that gives youths more years to fully develop and stabilize. Illiteracy is rare, and there is public access to education, including support for the study of math, science and the arts. Sanitation and hygiene means people are largely healthy, and suicide is rare thanks to care to mental health. Suffrage is increased, slavery is illegal, and political power is more distributed (though not perfectly). The economy supports regular trade, and people are trying to use resources and taxes more effectively. The state and nation are unified, and not at immediate risk of dividing. Crimes carry appropriate punishments, which usually excludes corporal punishment or the death penalty, and people and courts usually assume innocence before guilt.
CR 6: Ascending People not only tolerate but accept those unlike themselves, seeking equality among sexes, LGBT people, ethnicities, those with handicaps, and others. There is universal suffrage. Families are smaller with planned pregnancies and prepared, well-trained parents ready to care effectively for their children. The state and people use diplomacy and discourse, resorting rarely to warfare. Culture is intellectual and philosophical, capable of making reforms if needed, and openly relates with many cultures and languages. People tackle and regularly discuss difficult ideas and morals. Rather than conquering other lands they consolidate their own affairs. Politics rarely has issues with corruption or bribing, being seen as scandalous, and usually prevented through oversight and criminal litigation. Torture in any form is illegal. The power at least partially rests in the populous. Infrastructure is of high-quality and is regularly maintained, with housing and medicine for people made affordable to nearly all. Police are a part of the community, with most violent crime very rare.
CR 7: High There is widespread peace and stability and the constant spread of ideas. Governance and administration are good, stable, and functional, with power being collaborative and rarely abused. People work towards equity as well as equality for all, and are regularly involved in civic politics. They oppose slavery in lands outside their own. A culture of academics and aesthetics flourishes, and people cultivate philosophical study of difficult ideas and moral questions. Their culture is known for temperance and politeness. People live long, healthy lives with quality physical and mental health support, and narcotics are very rare. Criminals receive only temporary incarceration thanks to effective rehabilitation methods.
CR 8: Zenith Very few people have much more power than any other people, with social mobility determined by merit. Other nations are willing to replicate the culture of this society for themselves, hoping to gain its famous benefits. Crime of any sort is quite rare. If non-humans exist they are accepted by society and often treated (socially or legally) as equals.
CR 9: Utopia The Good Dream, the mythical and implausible peak society can advance to. All people are equal and treated equitably. There is no slavery, crime, war, or abuses of power. There are none of the current generation who can recall any time of such evils among their people. The state of personal wealth and economics is arranged such that people do not even need jobs to support their material or personal needs. People live happily together with extreme longevity (and possibly a kind of immortality).

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12 Inability to Comply: If it is impossible for You to comply with any of the terms of this License with respect to some or all of the Open Game Content due to statute, judicial order, or governmental regulation then You may not Use any Open Game Material so affected.
13 Termination: This License will terminate automatically if You fail to comply with all terms herein and fail to cure such breach within 30 days of becoming aware of the breach. All sublicenses shall survive the termination of this License.
14 Reformation: If any provision of this License is held to be unenforceable, such provision shall be reformed only to the extent necessary to make it enforceable.
Open Game License v 1.0 © 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
System Reference Document, © 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc., Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.
Modern System Reference Document © 2002-2004, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Bill Slavicsek, Jeff Grubb, Rich Redman, Charles Ryan, Eric Cagle, David Noonan, Stan!, Christopher Perkins, Rodney Thompson, and JD Wiker, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, Richard Baker, Peter Adkison, Bruce R. Cordell, John Tynes, Andy Collins, and JD Wiker.
True20 Adventure Roleplaying: Revised Edition, © 2007, Green Ronin Publishing;, LLC Author Steve Kenson.


I would like to hear from you! Do you like conworld designs and RPG content? Do you have critiques or suggestions for future concepts and systems for me to build? I would love to read your feedback and criticisms – just enter your comment in the Leave a Reply section, and I’ll gladly consider them for future posts.

One thought on “Conworld Setting Rating Systems: Realism Rating and Culture Rating by John R. Canter

  1. Pingback: Constructed World Review: Pacific Rim (2013) and Pacific Rim Uprising (2018) by John R. Canter – Hundreds of Worlds

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