So, the first thing that I like about that system I found here
(and I really wish I could figure out who the author is so I can give him due credit) is the customizability of each side. I had actually already considered something similar to this, at a time when I was considering adapting a very obscure game called Infinitron
The biggest difference between these two systems is where New Erf (is that the right name?) uses a series of templates off of which minor modifications can be made, Infinitron is completely freeform. I believe a synthesis of the two is warranted : sides could have several "archetypes" to build off of, (mainly for convenience) but the stats are determined differently. Instead of just being able to add a few points wherever, an excel spreadsheet can take care of making sure everything's balanced.
But these calculations -yea, the very stats themselves- depends completely upon how combat operates. This is where my design will be most unique, I believe.
Due to how the games I usually play operate, I feel the need to separate out accuracy, penetration, and damage, among other things. I had a few ideas on how to distill the essence of this while keeping the actual number of stats to deal with down to a minimum, but few have any real promise. The one I currently think has the most merit involves actually changing the number and/or size of the dice rolled.
Lastly, there's the Casters. I think the best way to handle magic is to make sure there's a lot of overlap. Take, for instance, illusions. Obviously foolamancers have that down completely, but that doesn't mean they have to be the only ones with it. So, I'll give portions of the illusion spell arsenal to carnymancers, weirdomancers, signamancers, thinkamancers, and anywhere else it makes sense. Similarly, C3 (command, control, communications) shouldn't be the sole domain of thinkamancers: I'll give it to hat magicians, changemancers, signamancers, and mathamancers as well. Heh, maybe even rhyme-o-mancers... In this way I hope to make all casters worthwhile, not just the obvious ones.
Ok, so there's a few things I skipped, and nothing I really fleshed out in-depth, but at least I've got this out of my head. Now I can start thinking specifics...
I'll respond as soon as I've skimmed through these rules you've sent me, 0beron.