For my portable mechanics, I plan on using the character description and action effect modules that I've been developing, with just a tiny few setting-specific tweaks. In particular, character generation will be very light:
- pick a couple broad backgrounds, like "sailor" or "physician";
- define how many years you've spent in each;
- add 15 years, set that as your character's age. Maybe add a cushion of years, since you can improve during flashbacks.
The big question, at this point, is whether I feel the need for generic abilities. Once that's settled, it's on to the non-portable, distinctive rules that define the structure.