Lower Dice Version
This would effectively redo most of the system, but would be more original than what we have now. It would eliminate bonus granting items altogether and eliminate the current style modifiers. It would allow for base bonuses in species.
The Basic Changes:
Items would have a set rating (like speed, AR, and SDP) for their function. Rather than boosting a skill the quality of the item would be the limit of its performance. A 10D driver in a Semi with a 3D performance cap simple can’t make it do 10D maneuvers.
Since there are no bonuses racial skills become real skill, the skill limits would remain for adding skill pool dice to them, but they could exceed the pool limit if a person had a high race and low skill pool.
The cost relationship would be reversed with stand alone skills being more expensive and limited to 6D while performance dice would be effectively unlimited and have a lower cost per die.
If creation numbers were otherwise unchanged the maximum starting skill would still be 11D (Possibly 12D or 13D if racial attribute boosting was allowed-Although in the lower dice model I would probably lower limits by one per category dropping caps to 9D for 0-1 priority species, 10D for priority 2-3 species and 12D for priority 4 species with species skills and 11D with non-species skills).
Performance ratings like accuracy, maneuver, and style would become very important to high skill characters while meaning much less to low skill characters.
I like this option, but it would mean an entirely different book and game page would be necessary (I might call it 4th edition).
Obviously all the equipment would need to be remade as would the spells. Target numbers and penalties would be adjusted down and NPC performance rating would be halved. Story wise things would be unchanged. This would take some work, but would also make the system more unique as equipment quality would matter, but in a much different way.