In order not to get lost in the hugeness that is an RPG, I'm putting down a short post on where I plan to go next in this from-the-hip conversion / re-creation of a classic RPG.
Classes: I think it's time to tackle the classes from a balance standpoint, before I go back and refine everything I've stated before. I also think it's time to figure out things that go AGAINST the concept of classes (i.e. stuff that everyone can do) above and beyond the issue with thieves mentioned in the last post. Will probably start with fighters, move on to thieves, and handle the human spellcasters last (magic will be a pain to handle).
Random Ability Scores: there was a post on rolling up characters that reminded me how much system impacts the feel of a game:
"3d6-in-order transports you into an entirely different world. Characters are not, can not be, emulations of gym-sculpted model-turned-actors or their kinetic caricatures in digital paintings. Characters become people. People who are sometimes stupid or weak or clumsy and are vulnerable. This vulnerability, this frailty, this lack of choreographed slickness makes old-school, for me, a far more appealing option."
While the randomness of rolling up a character sometimes resulted in DM-approved (and surreptitiously performed) re-rolls of character ability score, along with utterly useless characters and ridiculously smart, strong, charismatic and wise characters -- they did serve to reinforce that feel of "we're just ordinary joes trying to survive long enough to become heroes". Must think on this and try to preserve some of that feel in a point-buy system.
Monsters: A monster's ability to hit is based on Hit Dice. In HERO terms, this means that the tougher the monster is the better the chance it has of hitting you ABOVE AND BEYOND any special abilities it may have or any nasty multiple attack abilities (like the famous claw/claw/bite). What does this mean? It means that bigger isn't necessarily slower or less accurate in combat. Think that the Storm Giants might be crappier at fighting humans than Hill Giants? Think again. Also, there's the abstract AC issue again -- I'll have to find an easy way to extract DCV and PD/ED from creature armor classes.
End Goals: Why am I doing this again? Well, one of my personal things is to find a way to run characters built in HEROic D&D through some old modules and not cry about how much of a pain it is to convert the damn module over to HERO. I want to see how the experience of these old modules changes with the system (ignoring for now the whole "if you have a good GM, you don't need a good system" debate), and see if there is hope for creating 24-page adventure modules for Fantasy Hero.
If I dream big, I'd want to see if I could do the same for Star Hero... but then I'd have to be able to create my own subgenre of science fiction RPGing can handle a specialized (but not too narrow) set of SF genres without too much tweaking. But that's way down the line.