Bar Stool Quarterback – A Football Dice Game

Wow! I won my first game design contest!

Thank you so much to Jason and Rob from the Building The Game podcast. They recently held a contest for a simple football dice game that could be played in a bar (ideally a sports bar). I wracked my brain for weeks trying to come up with an idea, and it wasn’t until the last day of the contest that I landed upon using a press-your-luck mechanic as the key to my game idea.

I’ve tried to simulate a football game (we’re talking Canadian/American football here, not soccer) without getting too far into the weeds of a real game, so I’ve only really simulated (loosely) moving the ball up and down the field with running plays and passing plays, as well as conversions and field goals.

The basic idea is to use a coin to represent the ball and a beer coaster to measure progress down the field. A normal game will last 4 quarters, with each player having possession of the ball twice (four downs per possession) each quarter. For a faster game you can reduce the number of quarters, or possessions per quarter.

Using the press-your-luck dice mechanic, when you have possession of the ball you will be trying to roll to get at least three of a kind of a target number. ones, twos, and threes are for running plays, and fours, fives and sixes are for passing plays. Each down you can reroll up to three times, keeping or discarding results as you go. If you roll ones, however, and decide not to keep them, you will have to give one die to the other player, who may be able to use it to block the play after you finish all your rolling!

I have only had a chance to playtest the rules once, with my wife (who isn’t much of a football or game fan) so it’s possible the rules need more work. If you would like to try it out, you can download the PDF here, and let me know how it goes!

A HUGE Thank You again to Rob and Jason. If you aren’t familiar with the Building the Game podcast, but you are a game-designer (or amateur game designer like me), check them out at

You can also find them on twitter here and here and here

About The October Geek

Yes, I am the October Geek. I exist in the crisp breeze of an autumn evening when you are walking down that gravel path under swaying trees of red, orange and gold. I am the smoke that curls in the air from chimneys, and the laugh of a child in the distance as the sun hits the horizon and dazzles you with dying light. I am a man who loves all things Autumn, and most especially Hallowe'en. I am a geek who loves to play games, read books, watch movies, and generally be a grognard. I am the husband of a geek and a father to one jock, one bohemian geek, and one young geek in training. On The October Geek I will attempt to entertain and interact with those of you who share these delights. I will post reviews of things Autumnal and Geeky. I will post stories. I will eventually even be posting videos and pod casts. This is my experiment, let's see how I do.

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