On a first read though I am pleasantly surprised. The advantage/disadvantage system looks good, and could be very flexible and used in many situations. Much easier than trying to find a +- to apply.
The to-hit and damage bonuses on the character sheets need better explanation. You have to assume there is some base bonus that has not been described. Do characters to hit go up with level? I can’t see any mention of it.
This very much seems a return to a modified 2.0/3.5. Which I personally don’t have a problem with.
There’s been a lot of talk about skills vs ability checks. My experience in the past is that players have had to divide up the main skills between them to make sure that everything is covered. This has lead to more of a game mechanic choice rather than a role-playing one. Going back to ability checks with skill bonuses is good move. It will enable players make more character based choices.
Healing has always been the bugbear of D&D. how do you keep the game flowing and the players alive without unrealistic camping out or the “Do I have to play the cleric? All I ever do is heal” For many years we have played with modified dice roles to help resolve this. Instead of a d8 a d6+2. This helps up the average without the auto max mechanic. HD instead of surges seems reasonable compromise between 4E and other editions, but I will reserve judgment on it atm.
It’s pretty obvious this is a rules light playtest, but I guess that’s the idea. It has already been stated that this is a simplistic version of the figher so I’m not worried about extra powers atm. Saying that both myself and my players very much fall into the try what seems natural in a situation. Swinging from chandeliers and all that. That is something D&D next is trying to promote big time and I would be gutted if it was removed or watered down with endless powers/skills that just slow the whole game down and turn it into a math lesson.