I am looking for an RPG which has the following:
- This game has "heroic-style" play. This means the characters are special because of the situations they're in, not because of some ability to do stuff. All enemies, even smaller ones, can be deadly unless directly and immediately dealt with. A well-placed crossbow bolt can be as deadly for low-experience characters as high-experience characters. (Character Levels need not be a mechanic.) Note that this does not mean that characters do not grow with their experiences or cannot better handle previous threats, it does mean they must simply never entirely "write off" any able-bodied enemy as inconsequential from a mechanical standpoint.
- Health is not represented by incrementing some value or values. There must be no health tracker which relies on a number going up or down. That eliminates every system with hit points, and their myriad deviations, which use numbers to represent health or answer "how close to losing this conflict are they?" in any way. In spite of this, character death and failure still needs to be able to happen. "Math-less" may not universally apply to the systems I'm looking for. (As a side note, HP could be allowed if the losses of HP directly indicate a loss that players undisputedly relate to a specific real-world injury, like a 1"x.125"x.001" cut or 1st degree burn covering 1 square inch of flesh, that may be acceptable. "The Mechanics Must Tell the Story.")
- Somewhat "simulationist" mechanics ought to be in force. The abstractions used by the game can be easily/intuitively understood to represent real life concepts or abilities. Simulationist here does not mean high detail/bookkeeping, it means mechanics/game ideas correlating to real-world things. As an example, I consider most forms of "AC" from D&D 4e and 5e as not simulationist enough, but AC from D&D 3.5 is more acceptable due to its daughter "touch" and "flat footed" ACs. (A more simulationist system would have a "to hit" value and damage reduction; real-life armor appears to agree with such a system more.)
Any recommendations based off of these criteria? Remember, it need only fit the above criteria; dice-less systems or systems with unusual dice are acceptable, and yes, genre is not a criteria.