I was thinking about some snapping points on the character mesh, but I couldn’t find any good one, because if we were snapping the armor meshes, for example, to the top of breast, it wouldn’t fit smaller/taller characters etc.
Good idea snapping it to the skeleton!
If we snap a particular piece of armor always right to the middle of a bone, it should fit the character model. If the character will be scaled down or up, the armor could be scaled down and up in the same manner. For example, we can scale the armor in the same rate as the new skeleton size compared to the original skeleton size.
If we also kept the “under armor” parts of the character mesh the same for other races as the original one, we could also save our time - we wouldn’t have to design variations of armor for different races of characters. There will be only male and female variants.
Hair could be snapped to the top of skeleton and scaled according to the overall skeleton size as well.
Changing skin tone, eyes and other stuff should be just about switching material, as you say.
And from the art creation view, only important thing is to tell the 3D guys to create a “base body”, which will serve as a template for any character of any race and to design the armor on top of this character template as well as hair and other meshes, which will be snapped on the character.
Sounds simple now.
Did I forget anything?