Been working on something a bit different lately, that arose out of a conversation I had on the podcast with Joel Clark, where we tried to design a game on the air.
We came up with a concept called Schlock, a one-shot emulation of straight to video movies (and films of that caliber). The system is extremely simple, character creation literally takes a couple of seconds, so its easy to get characters in after player character death (we figured a lot of Schlock is high body count, so that is going to be important). The rules themselves are just a page and will appear at the start of each adventure. There are core rules that cannot be altered, but each adventure can add rules to create better genre emulation. For example, if we make a Kung Fu module, that would feature additional mechanics for martial arts (but they would still be simple in nature in order to preserve the feel of play).
A key part of the game is a figure named Ricky Vibrato. He berates the GM in the sidebars with insulting, but good advice, and is the fictional publisher of the Schlock line. He is intended to come across a bit like the Larry Bishop character in Kill Bill Volume 2.
The first adventure is called Burn, and it is inspired by the Deep Purple song of that name. It leans full tilt into my interest in hard rock and heavy metal. I have wanted to do something musically inspired for a very, very long time. I always throw in lots of easter eggs in games that are musical references, and occasionally it serves as inspiration for content (a lot of Ogre Gate was inspired by Dio lyrics for example), but this is the first time I've found a way to make it the foundation of the adventure. The whole adventure really is built from music. I've played guitar since I was 11 or 12 and this was a chance for me to bring some of that into the game.
Burn is one of my favorite Deep Purple Songs. I recommend checking it out if you have never heard it (and especially paying attention to the guitar solo and organ solo in the middle), but the lyrics suggest an apocalypse where a female figure descends and lights people on fire. That seemed pretty gameable to me, it fit the Schlock concept well, so I turned it into an adventure.
We play tested about a week ago and it went well. We are planning another playtest soon. After that I will complete my revisions and then run it myself (so far I've been functioning as a player in the playtests so I can see how other GMs handle the content first).
The plan is to have Joel write the other adventure and we might do it as a double feature. We haven't quite decided how this is going to be released. Those details are still being worked out.