So in an effort to dump as much of the work I've already done, here's everything that needs to go onto a character sheet:
Basic stats, str, dex, con, int, wis, cha. I see no real reason to change these (I could rename wisdom to perception, which better describes how I feel it works, but I'd have to rename perception the skill, which would be annoying). Each character has a class, I have six PC classes in mind as is; fighter, mage, thief, and classes of each.
A level, from 1-5 (I don't see the need for 20 levels, it breeds Red Queen mechanics, and fewer levels helps keep the players manageablely powerful instead of earth shaking engines of destruction). It'll be possible to advance past the max level, using the mechanics of epic 6 (every 5000 xp nets you a feat, or 10,000 xp a gestalt level, and there will be feats only available to max level (N)PCs.)
Skills: Basically these will look like pathfinder skills, up to one level per rank, and a +3 bonus for class skills. Reworking skills themselves as needed, saving that for another post.
Feats: probably one every other level per pathfinder.
Hit points and vigor points: This is a cribbed mechanic from the alternate rules book for 3.5. In essence, vigor points look like hit points do now, (IE, you get more per level, there's no penalty for losing them, and they're easy to get back), hit points (a fixed number of them, equal to CON score) represent the gap between totally fine and dead. Any hit point loss means taking -2 on all rolls, and 1 point of bleed from lethal damage to HP. This is for PCs Mooks (the bulk of npcs) don't get vigor points, they just just bleed out and die from the first magic missile.
*or 4 or 6, exactly how many I need will be cemented once I start fleshing out classes
Magic for those classes that have it: I don't freaking know. Probably Vancian just because there's no good way to deal with balancing mages and non mages, so unless I come up with something spectacular Vancian magic is at least familiar and I've got a few fun ways to play with it in mind.
Equipment: Departing from the D&D mechanic of money buying you powerful crap, there are things that can be bought, and these are easy for the PC to get (money will mostly be a concern for consumable items, gear that lasts comes with the character). There is equipment that can be crafted (which is available either through class skills or sinking power into crafting via feats), and finally there is gear that is only available via favors (which are quest rewards).