In the mid-1980s, TSR published a number of games that made use of a color-coded chart to resolve character actions. The best known of these is of course Marvel Superheroes, but the chart also turned up in the third edition of Gamma World among others. One of those others was Conan, a game that many consider an underappreciated gem: compact, fast-moving, easy and fun. In the spirit of the d20 SRD, these pages were created to make the Conan rules, stripped of their franchise-related elements, available for play once again.
Oddly enough, now that Conan Properties, Inc. has declined to renew Mongoose Publishing's exclusive license to publish Conan-related materials it has been suggested in all seriousness that ZeFRS would make a good stopgap gaming solution until a new holder emerges. I consider this a tribute to all the effort the members of the ZeFRS collective have put in as well as to the rules as they appeared originally.
The rules were written by Dave "Zeb" Cook, so they are collectively referred to in this document as Zeb's Fantasy Roleplaying System, or ZeFRS.
Some pages have a few transcriber's notes on them, which appear as grey boxes at the bottom of the page. Those won't appear on paper if you choose to print the page.
Table of Contents
The Original Rules
- Talents and Weaknesses
- Life in a Sword-and-Sorcery World
- Improvement and Ultimate Goals
- ZeFRS Rule Book (PDF)
- It's here at last: Legends of Steel: ZeFRS Edition has arrived! Trample the kingdoms of Erisa, Evil DM Productions' smash hit campaign setting, using the ZeFRS rules. Includes creatures and characters not found in any other Legends of Steel publication.
- Ou, si vous préférez, piétinez les royaumes de l'âge hyborien en français. Philippe Tromeur vous propose Les aventures cimmériennes. (For the anglophones in the house, that's a French version of the main rules, REH's "Hyborian Age" and "Tower of the Elephant", plus a brand new adventure. Le tout sans couvercle moche.)
- ZeFRS Rule Book - complete rules, chart and character folio in one PDF file, courtesy of The Grey Elf
- The ZeFRS Companion
- The original rules and the Companion in one PDF.
- Got a Kindle? How about a .MOBI version of the combined rules?
- You can buy a hard copy of the combined ZeFRS rules from Lulu at cost.
- Alternatively, you can get one from Amazon if Lulu's shipping rates give you heartburn.
- Don't like point-buy systems? Here's a random ZeFRS character generation system by Chris Kutalik.
- The Resolution Chart (also available in a PDF version)
- A Rogues' Gallery
- Character Folio (special thanks to Max from RPG.net)
- GM Screen by Adam Leisemann
- Hyborian Character Creation by Tim Mercado, a quick way to generate characters with nation-specific Hyborian flavor. Inspired in part by Chris Kutalik's random ZeFRS character generator
- ZeFRS Discussion Boards
Want to change the layout, trim out sections you don't want to use, or use the ZeFRS ruleset as a basis for your own homebrew? Feel free. Here are RTF (Rich Text File) or Word versions of:
- the ZeFRS Core Rules and
- the ZeFRS Companion
- the resolution chart
- a roll-over version of the resolution chart
Special thanks go to everyone on RPG.net who showed and is showing such enthusiasm for this effort, especially:
- Drake2000, for getting the ball rolling with his tale of how much he and his wife enjoyed an ad lib game using the original boxed set
- E.T. Smith, for generously sending copies of two of the three published adventures for this system, and for reliably spotting when my mind has been wandering
- The Grey Elf, for advice on how not to end up doing time for copyright infringement, plus a masterful conversion of these web pages to a handy PDF document
- The Evil DM, for encouragement and for setting up the ZeFRS discussion boards.
- Max, for preparing the character folio
- Münch, artikid, Marius, and a select group of long-dead artists for illustrations
- hive_mind, Harmast, Insect King, blu_sponge, DMAndrew, MountZionRyan, Äkräs, hatheg-kla, Harmast, Vagabond, Christopher V. Brady, and others for their interest and eagerness to chip in and expand the system to the whole canon of Sword-and-Sorcery literature
- Spinachcat, whose hat of charts know no limit, for spurring the search for an alternate success formula
A special, agog fanboy thanks goes out to the man himself, Dave Cook, who gave this project his blessing.