What Is Old is New is the core system behind all the 2000A Universe games.
The basic mechanics are dice pool, typically you are rolling about 5d6 and trying to hit a target number, rather than collecting successes.
My oracle is roll 5d6 and 17+ for yes, 5-16 = no.
Character creation is life path. You pick your species, and then starting with your childhood, each life stage adds to your stats and skills and special abilities called effects. The default set up is to go through 5 iterations from childhood to your career. Those 5 iterations is also a cap on your dice pool.
The game is one of those that is easy to pick up and play but really hard to master. The effects you gain from your career/life path stack and there are combinations that are much more effective than others.
I am reading these lists and you just cannot take them all in.
The game rules do say that sacrificing some of your attribute or skill dice to use an effect is the right thing to do when playing and is core to the combat system. It can be summed up as sacrificing accuracy for greater damage.
Talking of damage, the damage is avoided using SOAK. Weapons do a 2d6 or more damage and armor starts at about 4 SOAK and heavy armor can be 10+. It looks like the accuracy vs. damage is an important trade-off.
For solo this has implications.
Creating an NPC on the fly is harder with lifepath character generation.
What you can do is imagine how they are attacking, and then skim down the list of effects and find the most appropriate effect to apply. Keep a note of these and then retcon the rest of the NPC after your scene.
I think I can create a fast NPC builder to support ‘on the fly NPCs.