Last post about this was back in January, but I had some weird dreams last night after staying up way too late watching the Aggies hold off La-Tech and win, in the exact opposite manner of last season in which they would have found a way to lose. Anyway, a lot of this stuff comes from Tunnels & Trolls, MERP and a few other sources. It's definitely more "pulpy" that a straight fantasy game, which is sort of the point.
1) Revised ideas about classes and magic and stuff...basically dump everything but fighters, thieves and wizards. All wizards must follow some sort of thematic spell-casting and come up with cool names for their spells. Say the wizard is a "fire mage"; he can cast Magic Missile as a spell, but must call it "Bolt of Flame" or whatever. Thieves are pretty much like T&T rogues, and Cugel the Clever would be the prototype.
2) Adding Hunters as a class to replace Rangers. Essentially just combining assassins and fighters, with a few tweaks. Paladins are gone.
3) ALL spells are rolled into one pool. This means wizards can in fact cast from "cleric" lists, but it takes up a slot. I suppose they'll have to decide if they want to cast fireball or a CLW.
4) Going with #1, all wizards must select a patron in order to receive spells. This means that, yes, all spell casters that I'm calling wizards are really priests/clerics. Must fit with the theme they chose. Due to #5, they get to pick a granted power. Patrons will teach how to cast a spell, but no book is necessary most of the time. Basically this means spells are more like math formulas, not some external force. Thieves and hunters can learn some minor magic if they spend the time to do so; fighters lack the proper mental patterns. Anyone can read scrolls. Getting spells from patrons that don't fit within their sphere of influence will be nigh impossible, but a wizard can learn it some other way if they're persistent.
5) To reiterate an earlier point from months ago, undead will exist but characters will have no power over them, i.e. no Turn Undead. I'm going to use them like Tolkien did, though. Wights will attempt to charm people, wraiths are Nazgul, etc. No level drains as although I like them, they're honestly a pain in the ass to run properly. Also, I think undead are overused in the extreme, which makes them pedestrian rather than something to be legitimately feared.
6) All characters can wear whatever armor they can afford. Thieves/hunters get penalties to some of their skills (Unearthed Arcana was good for something). Only fighters get their DEX bonus when wearing armor. Fighters also improve their AC by one step, so Platemail would provide a base of 2 instead of 3 for a fighter. All characters can also use whatever weapons they wish.
7) Magic items are usable by anyone if they know the proper procedure. Unless the instructions are printed on the side, it'll require trial-and-error to get anything to work.
8) Max of 14th level for all classes, using the B/X charts for thief skills (thanks, ACKS!) I'll have to revise the spell-casting charts, but any spell higher than 6th level is beyond the power of a patron to provide. Hit-dice are AD&D, and CON bonuses are gained every level except 1st. At 1st level, characters start with CON number of hit points instead of rolling a die.
9) There will be a "monster" character class. Basically if you want to play some sort of monster, okay. Abilities will be gained at a reasonable pace according to type.