Following on past discussions and the above statement of intent the goal is to reach coherent character concepts and varied gameplay by limiting what a character can do to avoid the, "Every character does everything except for a few things that everybody agrees are useless," concern of the GH1 system. Unfortunately I don't see that the current system or future proposed system will be any more suited to producing coherent character concepts than the previous one. It's been my observation that it is a significant general problem of skill based RPG systems that without limits or differences imposed elsewhere in the process that everybody will eventually get every skill at their maximum ability if the system lets them do that. The number one way I'm familiar with for these games to do away with that is a bonuses and penalties system as found in GURPS and Ars Magica.
I have some minor concerns about the specifics of this draft portion of this plan;
Quoting: Joseph HewittScientist Skills: Skills known by scientists.
* Science: Knowledge of sciency stuff.
o Robotics (Talent): Seriously, is there any roboticist in the source material who is not also a scientist?
I can point to Ed from Cowboy Bebop offhand, Ed was a hacker who teleoperationally controlled a million things, and I'm far from the most devoted student of anime and manga. In a far-future where highly powerful computers, robots and mecha are everyday, commonplace things I don't see why robotics wouldn't generally be the province of mechanics moreso than for research scientists, especially since sentient devices (the three original huge biomonsters) have been around since before the night of fire. I think if you're going to stick it on any skill it ought to be general repair.
Quoting: Joseph HewittCoolness Skills: Skills taken by performers, celebrities, and other such ne'er-do-wells.
o Combat Song (Talent): Use Performance in combat to inspire allies.
Arrrgh... do we have to have D&D bards? Music is used to inspire, inflame, arouse or otherwise emotionally-manipulate people... provided they're listening. I don't see a role for this as-is in combat, although if you ever have anything psychic around you may consider Warhammer 40k noise marines for an idea.
Quoting: Joseph HewittThief Skills: Sneaky, underhanded skills for Criminal characters.
* Stealth: Very useful for avoiding detection while robbing a place, and avoiding police patrols afterwards.
o Pick Pockets (Talent): This one wasn't getting much love as a skill, but might make a decent talent.
The reason it wasn't getting much love was because it didn't have a full range of tricks and it had an effect that cost you more that it ever won you no matter what you did with it. That said this is a good skill to graft pickpocketing to.
Quoting: Joseph Hewitt*Electronic Warfare: Allows the use of ECM defenses in a mecha. and helps to avoid mecha status effects. The causing of status effects will no longer be determined by this skill, but instead by the DC of the weapon used.
Uh... hmm... I know that Electronic Warfare provides an extra partial-dodge IF you have an ECM unit and that made this skill more powerful than a number of the other mecha warfare helper-skills but I don't see keeping a weakened version of this when you've already fused artillery+gunnery and fighting+weapons. Perhaps it's best to just get rid of it unless you implement multiple-crewmember mecha with a position for an EW chair and have recovery from and resistance to status effects aided by repair since that's what's probably happening on a successful roll (since the pilot is busy with everything else they're doing anyway). Only problem there is that repair becomes more powerful. Perhaps not fusing mecha and general repair is the answer to that....
Quoting: Joseph HewittQuestionable Skills: There are some skills I'm not entirely sure what to do with. I could leave them as skills, or change them to talents.
* Biotechnology: I'm not sure about this one; it could be added as a talent for Repair or Medicine instead. Still, I think this could be an interesting skill in its own right, if its role were expanded.
* Cybertech: Instead of making this a skill, I was thinking it could just be a talent. Everyone would have a natural cybertech tolerance based on their Ego stat; you can install this much cyberware and never worry about dysfunctions.
I do think you should make Biotechnology as useful as robotics since biomonsters huge and small are part of the continuity; letting players build hunter-X and gremlin biocritters would be cool.
As for cybertech, the content and rules-wraper of the cybernetics system needs to be redone from scratch, if I had a spare I'd send you a copy of my Cyberpunk 2020 sourcebook but you're not getting my last one. If you're interested I could try to summarise later but for now I go to sleep.