The Recognised Civilisationary Levels was a scale of civilizational development used in the Milky Way galaxy. The criteria used to define Levels (or stages) included societal and technological factors. The RCL was universally recognized by the 24th century CE,[1], and defined by the Galactic General Council by the 29th century CE.[2]


Level Notes Examples
  • No interstellar travel.[3]
  • Civilization of Earth, late-20th century CE; classic sophisticated Level 3[3]
  • "Bow-and-arrow" technology compared to Level 8[1]
  • Low Level Involved[1]
  • Low Level Involved[1]
  • High Level Involved[7]

Interlevel relationsEdit


Many civilizations acted as mentors - whether overtly or covertly - to lower levelled civilizations.[8][2] In some cases, the mentee could be considered a client civilization of the mentor.[9]

The system of mentorship was designed to provide less developed civilizations a generally controlled environment in which to progress, without fear of being destroyed or overwhelmed by significantly more developed civilizations.[9]

Mentor and mentee were typically not too disparate in terms of the civilisationary level they occupied. Civilizations could be mentees and mentors simultaneously; this formed a chain mentor-mentee relationships. Mentors significantly higher up the chain from any given relationship were generally not allowed to intervene directly in that relationship.[9]

Some mentorships resulted from territorial protectorates granted by the Galactic Council,[10] with the current civilizations holding protective custody becoming mentors.[11]

Technology transfersEdit

Galactic interpolity treaties prohibited over-runging. They allowed technology to be gifted or sold no more than one level down from their associated level of technological achievement, and required the originator to maintain sufficient control to prevent the technology from being passed further down. Being a signatory of such treaties was typically a sign of being a responsible Involved.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 The Hydrogen Sonata, chapter 3
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Surface Detail, chapter 20
  3. 3.0 3.1 The State of the Art, chapter 2.1
  4. 4.0 4.1 Surface Detail, chapter 19
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Surface Detail, chapter 9
  6. 6.0 6.1 Surface Detail, chapter 21
  7. Matter, chapter 10
  8. Excession, chapter 5.3
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Matter, chapter 18
  10. Matter, chapter 4
  11. Matter, Epilogue