So on recommendations from peers, I’m going to relook at Powered by the Apocalypse (PbtA). This is going to require quite a bit of reading and then some hacking, creating and writing until finally some playtesting!
I really hate flip-flopping but while I love FATE it doesn’t quite capture the heist-y feel that I want and hence the lack of drive of this project on my part. Also FATE probably wouldn’t work well without a serious hack of the system which was the point of going to FATE in the first place!
That being said my main reservation of needing playbooks (from my Blades in the Dark experience) is apparently largely unfounded. This is what I meant when I said I wasn’t massively confident with the system and didn’t want to have to create write and balance a half dozen playbooks in an unfamiliar system but apparently playbooks aren’t needed for PbtA. So I have rekindled hope in the system.