EPICS: Deserve to Survive is an indie game that attempts to mimic certain types of action TV shows. In it, beginning characters are little more than conceptual frameworks. You start with a name, a general idea of your role and main skills, and you go from there.
The mechanics behind EPICS have you fleshing out your character's background and knowledge during gameplay -- much the way information about characters is revealed over the course of many episodes in many TV shows. As your character becomes more fleshed-out and 3-dimensional, you gain survival points which can be spent to help your character survive the various challenges that come up during play.
RPGNow - product page for EPICS, including a full description and 3 reviews.