It was ridiculous idea but actually has more potential than I thought.
The idea is swapping the mechanics for how the classes work.
So fighters mediate and select their fight moves "magic missile" "light" etc
and wizards buy a halberd spell and use it.
Thieves steal "cure light wounds" and "sanctuary" from the gods in their sleep and clerics solemnly learn 45% Hear Noise from their hierophants and solemn tomes.
By frankensteining around the raw mechanics , a different genre feel starts to happen.
(Although something more than just calling the halberd a "woeful finger" will need to be done)
Fighter "supreme techniques"/spells as limited use encounter breakers starts becoming more wuxia
(though "limited use" isn't that common in Wuxia; it would have to be framed as Ultra taxing powers as opposed to the workaday cloudstepping and needle throwing)
Wuxia as a genre is extremely open to how much can be justified as possible via "chi" and "kung fu" technique so limited use supreme techniques could still include things like Charm person , Web and Phantasm force.
My favourite film "Swordsman 3: The east is red" features such abilitys as a ninja suspended in the air hiding behind a fake moon, sewing needles used to animate corpses, a dozen hearts exploded out of enemy goons simultaneous (at range ) , a "laughing point" manipulated to cause compulsive laughter, disguises, doves released from corpses upon death and a swordfish as flying carpet. It's a good time.
Wizards relying on equipment for power already has an easy form; in scrolls or calligraphy paper .
(the Palladium book "Mystic China" has some interesting magic based on this)
A greater range of abilities and power should be possible than what is normal for an equipment table, but it seems workable to me.
Thieves using mystic abilities could be added to a world as something elaborate as promethean thieves stealing powers from the gods themselves , or drawing from folklore such as the "hand of glory", "thieves oil" , protective talismans , or other superstitions and "one weird tricks".
This is more suggestive of component based casting than clerical powers, but that's not really a problem.
Further mixing it up could have the spells randomly determined and the player is required to explain their components and write them down, the spells become weaker if anyone else (including other players , not just characters ) knows the recipe.
Or the recipes could be learned as an item like reward.
Clerics having a set of skills instead of spells could be conceptualized as formal ghost hunters, exorcists, Confucian scholars, or doctors.
Priests in folk stories tend to have a much narrower range of abilities than most spell lists (the "turn dead " ability is even already close to a thief ability)
A quick list from memory:
-banishing supernatural agents
-trapping said agents if they can tricked or convinced to enter a vessel
-casting out possession
-healing sickness, infertility, curses
-fertility (land /domestic animals/ people)
-dispelling illusions/detecting of supernatural influence
-protective wards against disaster or ill intend
-assessing auspiciousness of dates , partnerships or signs
-lay dead to rest/ placating angered ghost or spirit
So using any of these as replacements for "pickpockets" and "find and remove traps" seems plausible to me.
The trick bit is how much to keep or modify hitpoints and attack bonuses . The thief and cleric seem similar enough in power that swapping or giving them the same seems fine to me . Though if you were using classic d&d having this priest having the lower hitpoints and attack bonuses makes more sense than a more robust bandit type.
For hitpoints /attack bonuses for the fighter and the wizard , I would keep them the same (maybe bounce the wizards hitpoints up a die), but have the wizards calligraphy magic ignore conventional armour a lot of the time.
Or have both classes having options to trade less hitpoints for more Special powers .
I'm still making slow progress on "plane scrap" , art is being done for DCO's re-release, I'm being commissioned for 2 other projects. The cyberpunk writing is still shelved for now and ditto Broken Fire Regime .
Me and Patrick made a zine and it's available now:
just remembered about some osr wuxia rpgs that its been awhile since I've read but I'm pretty sure had some ideas overlapping with this