Spring Break Update: The Patchwork Manifesto

I told you guys I wouldn’t be sitting on my thumbs during the hiatus, and I definitely have something worth talking about right now.

I’m currently in the process of consolidating the fruits of my effort under one roof.  Currently the project is simply being titled The Patchwork Manifesto. As of this posting, I’m currently sitting on a draft copy of the core rule book! (Okay not literally — it’s right beside me.) 24 pages, printed out in booklet format. It looks good. And we’ll be taking it for a test drive later this afternoon.

Best part is it should only require minimal tinkering — it’s the same rules I’ve been using in REWIRED and Patchwork Fantasy for the last few years. I’ve taken elements from both, and really just needs the numbers to be double-checked. There are some new mechanics, so hopefully they aren’t broken right out the gate. They’re actually ideas I’ve had sitting in various notes for a few years that I’ve decided to pull the trigger on. More on those in a bit.

So what the hell is the goal here? It spawned out of Sigil & Shadow getting overhauled for the REWIRED engine. I started making a few tweaks, and it dawned on me I’ve wanted to do another update on my games for some time. Since they all tie into similar mechanics, I figured: why not establish the  base rules in a stand alone document and then build the setting expansions as “patches” to modify the game?

Also, for the time being, I’m giving up the chase to publish something “professionally” as my time and resources are limited. Instead I’m returning my focus on making something functional for the hobbyist/Do-It-Yourself gamer by returning to formats that look good and read easy on either PDF viewers or printed at home. The booklet format is super sweet and highly portable — even if you end up printing out various booklets it takes up minimal table economy (which is a peeve of mine.)


So What Does the Patchwork System Offer?

  • 3d6 based system
  • Defaults at a “modern” setting (but easily adapted to other time periods/genres.)
  • Modular design approach — literally pick and choose the “patches” you want.
  • Returning to Attribute focused. Skills grant bonuses but aren’t tied to any stat for circumstantial rolls.
  • The same “roll once” combat system — a single roll of the dice determines hit and damage.
  • NEW: Step/Scale System — a different take on advantageous abilities. Step bonuses add more dice to the roll (and the user still picks the best three.)
  • NEW: Backgrounds! Backgrounds grant free bonuses or perks, as well as establishing starting income.
  • Patchwork Leveling: Characters advance in levels simply as a mark of progression.
  • Will always be freely available under the CC-BY license. Take it, abuse it, make it your own, sell millions — if you’re cool you’ll buy me a pizza or something to say thanks.

The Patchwork Roadmap:

  • (MOSTLY COMPLETE) The Patchwork Manifesto — the core rule booklet for the system. Everything to get started in 24 pages.
  • (CURRENTLY STARTED): SIGIL & SHADOW Core Patches — Rules for modern magic, and a toolbox for creating your own paranormal characters and urban horror campaigns.
  • REWIRED 2.0 — updated cyberpunk/near future dystopia stuff. Augmentations, hacking, backgrounds, and new technology adapted to the Patchwork System.
  • Patches — tweaks and additional house rules to change shit up. Tiny rules to be kept in 1-4 pages.

Misc. Ideas I’m considering but have no timeline on:

  • An “SRD” wiki with the rules for quick reference or copy/pasting for your own projects.
  • Said wiki to also host fan made/third party submissions


The Patchwork Manifesto is aiming at being finalized and uploaded by the summer time.  Hopefully by then I’ll have some of the Sigil & Shadow  rules ready to be consumed publicly by then as well.

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