Life in a Sword-and-Sorcery World


Three basic coin types are used in ZeFRS: gold, silver and bronze. Each nation will doubtless produce its own currency, and a nation's coins may have more than their face value in one foreign land while being practically worthless in another. For the sake of convenience, it is assumed that there is an economically dominant nation whose currency has a nearly universal value. A gold is worth 10 silvers, and one silver is worth 100 bronze.

Jewels, another mainstay of decent treasure hoards everywhere, range in value from semi-precious to priceless. Some representative gems and their values are given in the table below:

Jewel Value
agate 5 b
garnet 1 s
mother-of-pearl 1 s
quartz 2 s
amber 3 s
chalcedony 4 s
coral 5 s
jet 5 s
lapis lazuli 7 s
malachite 7 s
onyx 8 s
turquoise 1 g
aquamarine 2 g
pearl 10 g
opal 15 g
sapphrie 30 g
topaz 30 g
amethyst 50 g
jade 75 g
ruby 100 g
emerald 200 g
diamond 300 g

g = gold; s = silver; b = bronze

A jewel's value may vary considerably depending on size, cut and quality.


Although most merchants are willing - indeed, expect to - haggle, you can generally count on common items commanding prices such as those given in the table below:

boots 1-10 g
cloak, heavy 1-5 s
cloak, ornamental 1-5 g
robe or dress, fancy 10-100 g
robe or dress, plain 1-5 s
sandals 1-2 s
shirt or trousers, coarse cloth 50-100 b
", cotton 1-2 s
", linen 5-10 s
", leather 1-5 g
", silk 5-10 g
winter fur robe 10-20 g
Drink (one flagon)
moonshine/homebrewed beer 1-5 b
flat, funky beer 2-10 b
vinegary plonk 5-10 b
common wine 10-50 b
mead 50-100 b
good wine 1-3 s
fine vintage wine 5-20 s
Food (one meal)
greasy slop 1-5 b
bland but filling 10-20 b
hearty and tasty 50-100 b
fine dining 10-20 s
elegant feast 10-50 g
Lodging (one day)
a bench in the common room 1-5 b
shared room 10-15 b
private room 50-100 b
comfortable room and board 4-10 s
suite 20-50 s
apartment 1-5 g
one day's rations (dried meat, bread, cheese, fruit) 1-3 s
sadde and bridle 1-10 g
stable (per night) 1-10 b
wool blanket 1-5 s

Prices for weapons and armor, as well as their combat statistics, are given on the Arms and Armor page.


Adventuring characters will often try to make ends meet by serving as bodyguards or mercenaries. The sort of hired position a character can obtain depends on his Fame rating. Characters with greater Fame will be able to command higher rank and better pay.

Fame Position
little known (rating 0-10) bodyguard
caravan guard
soldier, sergeant
brigand, highwayman
moderately famous (rating 11-25) army captain
bandit chieftain
caravan master
tribal warlord or hetman
elite guard
special envoy of a king
legendary (rating 26+) general
high priest
prime minister

Aside from salaried work, there is always someone looking to hire skilled adventurers to carry out a dangerous, secretive, or dodgy mission.

Characters with a rating of 20 or more in a Talent may hire themselves out as instructors for whatever wage they can negotiate.

Dealing With NPCs

Referees will usually have decided ahead of time or be able to form a pretty good idea what an NPC's reaction to the characters will be. When reaction has to be determined on the spur of the moment, however, the character makes a resolution check against her Fame or General Perception rating, whichever is higher.

A friendly situation is one in which the PC is dealing with an NPC who is already well disposed toward the PC. In a neutral situation, the NPC has no opinion on the PC one way or the other. NPCs in a hostile situation have reason to dislike or distrust the PC. A dangerous situation is one in which the PC is trying to get the NPC to do something that puts the NPC at risk.

NPC Reaction Table
Result Situation
Friendly Neutral Hostile Dangerous
failure abrupt ignores fights flees
marginal success neutral abrupt refuses/brushes off PC refuses
acceptable success neutral answers unfriendly refuses
total success helpful answers unfriendly will agree if bribed/rewarded
heroic success generous helpful suspicious helpful

Esmis has finished a relaxing steam at a Sulean bath house. As he dresses, he discovers that his fine leather gloves are gone! Looking around, he sees a weasly little thief clutching his gloves and headed for the door. "Hoi!" he bellows, at which the thief brandishes a knife. "Stop that thief!" Esmis yells. He'll need to get a heroic result on his resolution check for anyone to risk going near the thief. If he had yelled, "A gold for the man who stops that thief!", he would only need a total success (will agree if rewarded).