Ok I really wish I could give credit to the guy that came up with this idea. It was on EN World. I lost my account and "bookmarks" on the site when my email got hacked. I know the thread wasn't very popular and only the OP and I were really interested in the idea.
The idea is that you have action based encounters that are defeated by skill checks NOT hack and spell. I've used these with a great deal of success but they are very hard to come up with. some examples.
A library where the books come alive like a swarm and attack. The players use spellcraft to sever the connection to their mystical energies and athletics to wear the books out.
Magnetic boulders where they are defeated in a similar way
a huge number of sage/cultists that are defeated by religion and the above(I set this in a giant cave complex where the religion checks resulted in suicide)
How much you make your skill checks by = the "hp" damage to the encounter
OSR can do this by substituting ability checks