System 7 is a classless system. It revolves largely around Skills, Feats, and Powers. It uses mechanics much more similar to 3rd Edition D&D than System 6; in particular, it uses the standard d20 mechanic of d20 modifier vs DC to resolve most tests.
There are fewer Attributes in System 7 than in S6. The six basic ability scores are the only important ones; Hit Power, Armor Penetration, etc do not exist as standalone attributes anymore. Many things that used to be attributes, such as Dodge and Parry, are now skills. This is done to reduce the number of mechanics in the system; since all skills work the same way, there are fewer arbitrary rules and formulas to remember.
As a classless system, System 7 allows a great deal of flexibility in character creation. Characters receive Build Points instead of class levels, which they can use to directly purchase whatever Skills, Feats, and Powers they would like. They can also be used to configure ability scores however you prefer, even between levels. A character's "level" is simply a measure of how many BP they have earned; completing objectives awards BP, and BP determines level, rather than the other way around. This way, PCs can enjoy constant improvement, with small rewards every session.
The flavor of classes survives largely in Power Sources; anyone who uses Powers must have one (and only one) Power Source, which explains where the powers are coming from. Magic is only one Power Source; there are many others, including several that are not supernatural in any way. But it is not strictly necessary to have powers at all--any BP not spent on powers can be spent on skills, feats, and ability scores. There are many ways to build a character in System 7.
Part of the new system isn't just a change in character creation rules, but a change in the way DMs challenge and reward players. The system provides tools for creating interesting, challenging encounters that do not rely on overwhelming hit points or damage. Computerized tools remove the tedium of generating monster and trap mechanics, so that DMs can spend more time designing truly interesting challenges and less time calculating numbers.
Ultimately, the goal of System 7 is to provide the best possible system for modeling characters, not just for handling combat mechanics. A character modeled in System 7 should feel complete; it should feel like every decision is made for roleplaying reasons, and yet is reflected properly in the mechanics. The rules should make so much sense that they are understood by the characters in-universe without breaking the fourth wall. The goal isn't realism, strictly speaking, but believability and consistency.
- The DM will inform you how many Build Points you have.
- Usually, you start at 10 BP (level 1).
- Race and Class
- Class does not exist in System 7 (although it is intended that there will eventually be "classes", which are simply pre-built kits using the existing rules to create characters such as wizards, sorcerers, etc). Race is usually a flavor decision, although powerful races might have their own Power Source.
- Power Source
- (DEV NOTE: Power Sources are in a state of flux, this can be ignored for now)
- The biggest single decision. All characters must have a single Power Source, so careful thought is essential. Power Source does not imply a certain combat style, and not choosing Magic does not necessarily mean you cannot use magic...many racial power sources have access to it.
- Most Power Sources have many decisions to make within that source, such as selecting a Discipline, Tradition, etc.
- You can create or purchase equipment at character creation by spending a given amount of Resource Points (usually equal to your starting Build Points). After that, you gain gear the normal way: finding it, buying it, or crafting it.