I found a good place to start my game.
I am going to start with the mechanics from otherkind (otherkind pdf on the wayback machine).
It has the right balance of "game" and story telling and lets the player tell the group, in a clear and concise way, what is important to them.
I am going to tweak with the TNs (right now it is a 1-2,3-4, 5-6 spread on 1d6), look at the sources for bonus dice and die mods. The design choices that Vincent Baker made are fascinating me and I am hoping to dig behind them.