Home-brew Question :D

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I looking to make a home-brew to fit a certain scenario and type of gameplay, with the "skeleton" being based on DnD. My question is, which is the easiest/simplest edition out?
By simplest/easiest I mean:
easiest to understand, 
simplest rules,
fastest learning curve,

All help is greatly appreciated :D 
4e is the most modular of the systems.  It is also easy to just use the "skeleton" and go from there.  I don't know how much you are going to be changing, but is there a reason to not just reskin things?  4th edition places a heavy emphasis on reskinning and reflavoring.  If you want a more detailed description, look at my video about "Refluffing" in my comment.
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here
Well, I want to make a game in which the story dictates a different explanation for certain aspects such as magic being science instead.
Also, I am reducing some of more time consuming and bulky mechanics I've run into.
If a 4e dragonborn dragon sorcerer wants to describe himself as a Firebat from Starcraft, and the DM is okay with that, then he's a Firebat.

No new rules necessary.
Haha not quite so different, but thanks for the clarification!
4e is a very tactical system - which is its strength (and is its greats criticism - ie it can play too much like a board game) 3e Dnd is still a good system - -  both of the require that you read 2 books the players guide and the DM guide (for the DM anyway).
 4e and 3e are D20 systems - - Rune quest/Stormbringer are percentile systems and skills improve if you use them - characters don't advance by levels (which DnD games use) (relying rather on gradual increase in competance) - but you can get away with just readin one book

There is much more module support - prepared adventures for DnD 3e and 4e  -- - reducing the amount of work DM has to do to prepare for play.  

Gurps is a 3D6 system but otherwise similar to Runequest style (ie no levels and gradual increase in skills) - but has much stronger actual role playing support in terms of  advantages and disadvantages and rules to interact - need only read the basic rules

Bushido is DnD style (levels etc) but the setting - medieval Japan forces a new and different mind set and can be fun because it is so different.

We have always found sci fi roleplaying games- hard - everybody knows what to expect from a swords and sorcery  style game - - but the Both players and DM need to understand the world for a sci fi game - and setting it in well known world like say star trek - means players and DM are on the same page.

There are other published games - Like chivarly and scorcery (DnD style - with levels - but stronger rolepaying and world immersion elements   - - but much less module support) 

You should chose a game in an area of interest in which you and your players are interested.  eg flashblades is a rolepalying game (runequest style) set int the world of the three muskateers   etc

Great reply, thanks alot for that. It seems that the consensus is 4e so I will be trying it out. I did want to ask however, which books should I get to start with?
Either the PHB1 and the DMG1, or one of the essentials books and the Rules Compendium.

Really, though, all you need is the RC and a DDI subscription.
thats Players Handbook (one although its not labelled as one) and Dungeon Masters guide (one although its not labelled as one) - they were published first, and are out of date

Rules Compendium
(RC) is the latest version  of the rules, but lacks the classes and other support materials the PHB has - - but all that material is in the website -- Dungeon and Dragons Insider (DDI): but you need a subcription to use: character builder, compendium etc.

Flicking though books is much more pleasent than trolling a website (just my opinion though) but may not be practical cost wise. We have to use DDI anyway to check for latest version (errata)

MY apolgies for reapeating the above post - - I oersonally found it quite a learning curve what all the abreviations meant and thought that in this case long hand might be better.