Himbos of Myth & Mettle: Review

Himbos of Myth & Mettle is one of those concepts that just strikes my funny bone just right. Himbos are one of my go to character archetype’s for NPCs or PCs, and I always end up loving them in fiction. I don’t think that’s a wild or out there opinion, considering Kronk got his own spin off (whether that was a good idea is another topic). I picked up a hard copy through itches funding platform and that backing level threw in a screen reader friendly pdf, and a .txt file edition of the game too. Very nice for folks that can’t handle fancy layouts and such. At some point I probably got (or will get) an art included pdf, but I do most of my gaming with physical books, so am not tracking that super close.

Photo from their itch store

HM&M takes the standard fantasy RPG, and gives the spin that the whole party are Himbos, Bimbos (positive intent), Thembos, or whatever bos. So right off the bat, it’s going to be a more campy, funny tone than your Lords of the Rings dwarves march through the woods game. It also has an acknowledgement of what a Himbo would be, and traits associated, including earnest, well meaning, good natured, and super-hot. This lets the game set its own definition for Himbos, which may fall outside a given players common understanding, but it also sets the tone for the game. You’re playing mega-hunks, and you’re expected to be friendly, gentle, and kind mega hunks. No jerks allowed.

Mechanically, the game is fairly rules light. It’s a d20 roll under system, where your target number is your stat+gear+skill+Guide mods. So if your Hands stat is 10, and you have gear applying a +2 penalty, you need to roll under a 12 for success. This is really counter intuitive for a lot of modern D&D players, but for new folks to the hobby, or folks who’ve been playing forever and remember THAC0 and whatnot, its not hard to wrap their heads around. It makes for a really quick and easy resolution once you get it. A lot of modern OSR games use similar rules, but HM&M includes a lot of variants if you want to mix it up, such as 5e advantage, or Savage Worlds style die increases. This could add too much complexity to your game, or it may appease that crunchy rules player some when you bring them your dirty rules light game.

In my opinion, the major mechanic your himbos will be interacting with, is the Feats of Heart. Himbos can call on Feats of Heart to do the seemingly impossible. From Hercules lifting an outrageously large rock or Kronk’s clearly magical ability to win a race.

Mechanically, you spend your Heart, or hit points, to grant these powers. They are open ended and a form of build your own effect mechanic based on what you want to do. You play a game of 7 questions, and for each yes, you increase the cost. Then you roll your d20 and get under your current Heart score. If you do, it happens. If not, random table of weird effects. Regardless, subtract that many from your current Heart score. Everyone has 20 Heart, so this adds up, especially considering this is also your hit points. It’s going to be open ended, and your game needs some good faith participation for it to work, but it works as a quick easy magic system.

The stats in HM&M are unique. Not sure I’ve ever seen a system use these specific ones before, and you probably haven’t either. They certainly lean into the sex appeal of the characters, and while the game isn’t porn, I’m not sitting down to run a game with my parents, and it probably ages your game to 18+ (I couldn’t run it for the middle school games I run). Your stats are Breasts, Lips Thighs, and Hands. Breasts governing courage, emotion, toughness, Lips for persuasion and communication, Thighs for brawn and athletics, and Hands for dexterity and tools. The game specifically calls out that these are debatable, and you could use others for other things, and I think the idea is to do what makes sense within the bounds. I’ve always said it doesn’t particularly matter what your stats are, and finally someone listened to me.

To differentiate the Himbos from one another, each one is also given two traits, and a new one upon level up. There are 20 of them, and they fit very neatly into the D&D concept known as Feats. You also get Skills and a Life Path. Skills are what you imagine, and Life Paths are sort of your class equivalent. There are two categories, basically mundane and magic, and each is broken into four categories that you pick or roll an ability once from. Essentially, you pick the thing that sounds like a cool thing to have been in your backstory and get some basics from it. Maybe you come from a rural and rustic background, can understand birds, and get +1 lips. Or maybe, you worked with food, and have a cure for a hangover and get +1 to lips. Or maybe, you were a monster hunter, who is indigestible, and gets +1 breast.

Overall, HM&M seems like a fun beer and pretzels game for some adult friends who are tired of the grimdark nature of a lot of other games. It takes some leads from the OSR and rules light revivals but gets past their obsession with brooding and grit. This is a game about being fun, horny, and good natured, which frankly, we need more of.

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