The game setting for Shadows and Echoes is partially inspired by two of Adrian Tchaikovsky's book series: Shadows of the Apt, and Echoes of the Fall.
The game system for Shadows and Echoes is partially inspired by D100 TTRPG systems like Stormbringer, Runequest, and Hawkmoon systems.
Tenets of these systems include skills over classes or levels; fast-moving, simple, believable1 rules for combat and action resolution; and a recognition that conflict and combat get you killed easily whether you're a hero or a neophyte. Systems like this get out of the way to let the story unfold.
Yes, it's a game. Yes, things are fantastical. Still, it shouldn't be absurd or it's just not that fun.