Here's a concept I've played with a couple of times.
It can be applied in a couple of different ways; some of which I've tried, some of which I'd like to try.
The concept is pretty simple, and you could even look at stalwarts of the roleplaying world in this light.
The basic idea is that a character is made up of modular templates.
A bunch of race templates...a bunch of occupation templates. Add one to the other and voila, a character is instantly playable.
Let's try it a different way.
Here's a design I produced for a contest a couple of years back.
This design ended up becoming a part of the foundation for The Eighth Sea, but I'd really like to go back to it at some stage. The idea of a quickly producible character, with everything right there for a player to use in a couple of minutes.
Not sure what else to write on this one.
Of anyone's got comments, please fire away.