[generic] The Tripods

Hi everyone,

I’ve been rewatching the BBC adaptation of The Tripods and keep thinking to myself how cool it would be to set an RPG scenario on this alternate Earth, where humanity is enslaved by the Tripods.

The Wikipedia page for the Tripods is quite exstensive and is good aid to help build a RPG scenario.


I love the mix of technology, with the capped people living simplistic, rustic lives, which is similar to the early 19th century, with the odd piece of technology such as steam engines turning up now and then; whilst the Free Men who resist the Tripods have access to modern and more advanced technology.

The threat of the alien Tripods themselves and their Black Guard minions looming in the background, with the risk of being capped if caught, adds to the atmosphere. You could explore the ruins of London for example, face off against Vagrants who have been driven mad by their capping failing, travel to parts of Europe to recruit youngsters to the Free Men cause, or even play a runaway teen who wishes to escape his own capping day.

There are so many things you can do with the setting.

What do you think?
Yes, I believe that was John Christopher’s intentions when he wrote the novels in the 1960s. My editions of the books date from 1984, so I must have got them to read after watching the first series on BBC1.
Yeah, this could be a good setting. I read the books years ago but never saw much of the TV series (it was on a Sunday tea time and we were not allowed to have the TV on.) One of the books was set in the city of the Tripods, as I recall it was a bit grim and gritty.
(activate Kindle account, find the books again)
This takes me back...
I remember reading the first book back when my reading habits were largely determined by what was available on the shelves of our local library. Really enjoyed it, but they never had any others (or indeed anything else by John Christopher). Must have a look for secondhand or ebook versions. (The TV series completely passed me by - is it easily available? Not that I have much viewing time free at the moment what with Good Omens and several seasons of Lucifer on Prime...)
Both seasons of the TV show are available to buy on DVD together and the books have never gone out of print.

Going back to the role playing game set in the world of The Tripods, I think a narrative based game would suit the setting nicely. As it is a dystopian future setting, it isn’t that dark or gritty.
The Sword of the Spirits books sound vaguely familiar, but I can't actually remember reading them. Pretty sure I've not read the Tripods books though, the synopsis doesn't trigger anything.
I’ve just read through a brief synopsis, as I never read the books. A lot of John Christopher’s work focus on teenagers and are set in dystopian futures. I might have to give them a read.
Also try, The World in Winter. Not sure how it may read now but I remember being very impressed some 45 years ago.
I ran a short Tripods campaign shortly after the end of the tv series (and after I'd read the books). It went pretty well as I recall. I more-or-less used the books as the plot of the campaign.