Bloatbowl! Tabletop football with expansion elements!

I’ve been working and thinking on an idea ever since I got into playing a bit of Bloodbowl 2, expansion football. I’ve not got a lick of experience when it comes to mechanics or game design, which Is why I was hoping to start a conversation and have people to bounce ideas off of. It’s not fleshed out enough to really be considered a project, but I’m certainly looking to make it such.


Do you mean this would be a board game, or does “tabletop football” just mean the camera angle and the type of gameplay the game would deal with?


Blood Bowl itself is a dice-based tabletop game between two ‘blood bowl’ teams represented by minatures on a grid-shaped playing field. There are two main PC game versions that are probably better known to a casual/younger audience. Since it’s dice based and has a rather light ruleset, it’s very easy to simulate or use as inspiration.

It’s set in the Warhammer Fantasy setting and is tonally very silly.

To explain it in a joking (but accurate) fashion, it is a probability-management puzzle game larping as a parody of american football.

As sports generally involve physical exertion, it’s not a game I expected to see referenced here of all places, lol.


Cheddar said it quite well, it would be a board game well suited for something like Roll20, as it lies on a tile/grid field. As I’m working on it now, it would use dice to decide interactions and whatnot much like Bloodbowl or DnD does. I’m still trying to decide what the best wat to organize and balance such a thing, but I’ve got hope it can be done.

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Yes, I chose it mostly because I’d been playing it, but as time goes on I find myself leaning more into it’s mechanics to fix up my idea of Bloatbowl. It’s very well constructed, so it’s not surprising.

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A good idea for mechanics would be to have a story mode or franchise mode where characters on the team have things happen to them. There can be multiple weight gain scenarios, and fatter characters could lose a movement speed but gain a hit die or something similiar. This would make it so that for some positions getting fat can be beneficial, but for other positions it would be more detrimental. Maybe 3 or 4 players have storylines that track through the season and can end differently based on how much they weigh and whether you keep playing them. There is all sorts of fun scenarios I can come up with relating to this. Do you start your captain who gained too much weight to be useful on your team? or do you bench them? How do they react to your decision?

I had a similiar idea to this a while ago but never got around to making it. If you decide to use a story mode or franchise mode like I am talking about and want help with the scenarios, I would love to pitch more ideas.

This is assuming you go the route of making a video game.

It’s more on the line of a tabletop player vs player thing, but you’ve brought up an excellent idea. A story or franchise mode style tabletop game would be pretty unique. On the topic of growth, my line of thinking so far was pretty close to your own. Players on the field would use a variety of expansion kinks almost like abilities. Maybe an inflated receiver jumps to catch an overthrown pass, a fattened O-line is essentially immovable, or maybe a Cornerback just straight up vores an opposing player, taking them out of the game. I’d def love to hear your suggestions!

Would you be interested in having a tabletop game and a spinoff videogame? I am thinking that the videogame could use a lot of the art assets from the table top game which would make it easier to make. The tabletop game would be a good way to make it so people can play one off games with their friends, but there would also be a video game with a story / franchise mode where you play through a whole season against AI.

I am not sure what you were thinking about how all the opposing teams will work, but I was thinking it could be like bloodbowl where you have humans and a bunch of fantasy races. I am thinking that maybe there is a mechanic where in order to tackle a player, the players tackling the player have to be equal to the player’s size. (One 200 pound player can be tackled by 2 100 pound players but would break the tackle if one 100 pound player attempted a tackle.) If you combine this mechanic with the fact that heavier players will be slower, there should be a lot of strategy involved in the game.