Some people see intellect as nothing but a dump stat when creating characters. Some people think muscles should bulge, shirts should rip, and the only weapons worth swinging need both hands. Some people find the idea of spell slots, winning verbal arguments and knowing things found in books utterly ridiculous. New tabletop RPG Himbos of Myth & Mettle is for those people.
Created by designer Maxwell Lander, Himbos of Myth & Mettle is described by its creator as a “high fantasy, high camp” RPG that puts more emphasis on flexing well-toned muscles - including the heart - than untangling political intrigue or solving some loopy wizard’s riddle. Simple rules underpin adventures whose stars want to help at every opportunity, bringing to bear more than enough care and strength to make up for what’s lacking in their dome.
There’s also a distinct and intentional queerness to Himbos, as the colloquial title implies - player characters will ooze as much sexuality as they do sweat and their bodies should be imposing in proportions. Subtlety are the tools of rogues and sneaks. These himbos know they’re hot, dumb and ready to save the day.
Lander designed the mechanics after old school RPGs that used a simple roll-under system (players must roll under the target number to succeed) that keeps actions and consequences rolling through scenes that prioritize a cinematic presentation. The cited touchstones are Terry Pratchett’s Discworld book series, Xena: Warrior Princess and the animated Hercules from Disney. All three point to Himbos’ guiding pillars: pulpy world, brave heroes and muscles used compassionately.
Don’t think that you can’t create a bodybuilding spellcaster using their fists to arcane punch foes into submission, as the RPG will contain a modular system for allowing any imaginable spell to be represented through play. Other features, such as backstories and gear, follow a similar tack of rewarding those players who want to get silly and heartfelt with their unique himbo.
Though the word ‘himbo’ (a portmanteau of bimbo and him that often refers to very attractive characters whose intentions are undercut by their stupidity) is technically masculine, Lander specifies that their RPG expands the label to accept loveable goofs of all genders, along with presentation, sexuality and body type. The original idea for the game came from the apocryphal forum story of accidentally grabbing a die from a sex roleplay game, resulting in the facilitator “rolling d6 + breast”.
“As someone who came to game design after a colourful career that often dipped itself into areas of the erotic, I knew I needed to make a game where this roll was possible,” Lander said in a press release. “It’s taken on many forms since then, but at its heart is the idea that one should be able to use their not insignificant breasts to accomplish great deeds.”
Himbos of Myth & Mettle is currently Itchfunding as part of Zine Month 2022, and as such will run its campaign throughout the month. As of publication, the project has managed to raise enough money to produce hardcover versions to accompany the originally planned digital and softcover run. It will also include an adventure pamphlet by Boy Problems’ Colin Cummings in the game’s OSR dungeon crawl style.
Himbos of Myth & Mettle can be found on Lander’s Itch.io page, which includes a free quickstart ruleset. The digital edition can be purchased for $10 (£7), while a physical copy costs $15 (£11). There’s not yet word on when the eventual print run will begin shipping.