Types of Movement

There are two basic types of movement in ZeFRS. Covering short distances in a brief time is referred to as movement. Movement is measured in combat turns or minutes. Prolonged trekking across large distances is referred to as travel. Travel is measured in hours, days, or even weeks.


Crawling, Walking, Jogging and Sprinting: Under normal circumstances, any character can crawl, walk, jog or sprint. Jogging and sprinting are tiring, however, and will eventually require a resolution check to continue. They may also require a resolution check in difficult circumstances (say, if your character is knee-deep in a bog). Crawling and walking do not require a resolution check.

Climbing: Everyone can at least attempt to climb, although training makes it much easier. A character's Climbing Talent rating is used for resolution checks when scaling a surface.

Swimming: Not everyone can swim. Those who have no training at all, and particularly those who grew up away from large bodies of water, are liable simply to drown. A character's Swimming Talent rating is used for resolution checks to stay afloat.

Acrobatics: Those who have the Acrobatics Talent have practiced jumping, tumbling, swinging and so forth. The Acrobatics Talent is used for stunts such as swinging from a chandelier, vaulting a wall, or leaping from rooftop to rooftop.


Walking: Sword-and-sorcery characters spend half their lives too broke to afford a mount. When reduced to traveling on foot, the number of miles per day a character can walk depends on her Movement or General Prowess Talent.

Animals: In a day's travel, a mount can cover an amount of ground that corresponds to their Movement rating, determined as for a character. The rider's Animal Handling ability does not affect the distance the animal can travel in a day. It does affect the rider or driver's ability to keep control of or motivate the animal in unusual circumstances.

Boats and Sailing: For most of human history, riverboats and coasters were far and away the fastest and safest means of long-distance travel. The Sailing Talent determines how well a character can handle a boat; the Navigation Talent determines whether or not he can find his way.

Water Travel
Transport Miles per Day
canoe, raft, rowboat 10
riverboat 30/10*
merchant galley 50
pirate or war galley 65

* miles sailed/miles rowed

Movement Rate

The following table shows the speed a character can attain at a crawl, walk, jog, and sprint.

Character Movement Table
Talent Rating Crawl Walk Jog Sprint
-10 or less 1 [10] P P P
-9 to -5 2 [25] 5 [50] P P
-4 to -3 2 [25] 5 [50] 10 [100] P
-2 to 0 3 [35] 5 [50] 10 [100] 15 [150]
1 to 3 3 [35] 5 [50] 15 [150] 20 [250]
4 to 6 3 [35] 10 [100] 15 [150] 25 [300]
7 to 10 3 [35] 10 [100] 20 [250] 30 [350]
11 to 13 4 [45] 10 [100] 20 [250] 35 [400]
14 to 17 4 [45] 10 [100] 20 [250] 40 [500]
18 to 21 4 [45] 10 [100] 25 [300] 45 [550]
22 to 25 5 [50] 10 [100] 25 [300] 50 [600]
26 to 29 5 [50] 15 [150] 25 [300] 55 [650]
30 or above 5 [50] 15 [150] 30 [350] 60 [700]

# - The distance in feet a character can move per combat turn

[#] - The distance in feet a character can move in one minute

P - this type of movement is prohibited


Crawling and Walking: For game purposes, crawling and walking cause no fatigue. Your character can crawl or walk at the rates given in the movement table as long as he likes, so long as he stops to sleep for 8 hours out of every 24.

Jogging: Characters may jog for a number of hours equal to their Stamina or General Endurance ratings [1]. Characters who have a rating of 0 in both can jog for 1 hour. After jogging for the maximum time, a character must rest for one hour. She may then continue her journey at a walk for the rest of the day. Characters can only jog once per day.

Sprinting: Characters may sprint flat out for a number of minutes equal to their Stamina or General Endurance rating. Those who have a rating of 0 in both can sprint for one minute. After sprinting, a character must rest for 30 minutes.

Animal Movement

Animals follow the same fatigue rules as do humans. Getting an animal to move in the first place is a whole other matter. To get an animal to do something unusual, such as getting a horse to rear and stike a foe with his forehooves, the rider or driver must make a resolution check against his Animal Handling or General Perception rating. On a failure, the character has lost control of the animal. (What that means will depend on whether the character is aboard the animal, driving it, or otherwise attempting to command it.) On a marginal success, the character retains control - the animal does not bolt - but cannot make the animal obey. On a higher result, the animal obeys the character's direction.


Anyone can attempt to climb, and the referee can declare success automatic for easy ascents. Climbs that the referee decides are challenging can only be attempted unassisted by characters with the Climbing Talent. All others must be assisted by ropes, trained climbers going on ahead to hack footholds, and so on.

Characters climb at a rate of 5 plus their Climbing rating per combat turn. Under no circumstances can a character climb faster than 20 feet per turn.

For every 100 feet a character climbs, she must make a resolution check against her Climbing or General Prowess rating. A check is made for every 100 feet climbed. For a climb of less than 100 feet, a check is made at the halfway point and on reaching the summit. Thus every climb involves at least two resolution checks. On a failure, the character falls from the point at which the check was made. Any degree of success means she may continue to climb.

Climbing checks are modified as follows:

Surface Conditions
sloping +2 columns
rough +1 column
glacier or ice -1 column
smooth stone -1 column
overhang -3 columns

Characters who fall do not necessarily fall all the way to the bottom. There is a slim chance they can catch themselves before they hit.

If your character is climbing a rough or uneven surface, one that offers projections that might help slow or break his fall, the number of feet he falls before catching himself is equal to d10 x 10. If the result is greater than the distance climbed, he has hit bottom.

To determine damage inflicted by a fall, see the Hazards section. A fall of 100 or more feet usually results in death.


Only characters with the Swimming Talent can cover any significant distance by swimming. All others are limited to treading water and maybe dog paddling to the nearest bit of flotsam.

Those who have the Swimming Talent can swim at a rate equal to their walking speed on land as determined on the character movement table. Swimmers can swim at their walking speed for the same number of hours they can walk. They can swim at their jogging speed for a number of minutes equal to the number of hours they can jog.

Trained swimmers are also much less likely to drown. Drowning is explained in the Hazards section.


Any acrobatic movement - vaulting, swinging, tumbling, and so on - has some chance of failure. When attempting such a movement, make a resolution check against your character's Acrobatics or General Prowess rating, whichever is higher. A failure means the character has bobbled the movement and suffers the consequences (e.g. lost his grip while swinging from a chandelier, smacked his chin trying to do a franchissement under a railing, crashed and skidded trying to vault an altar). The movement succeeds on any other result.

Long-Distance Travel

A character's Movement rating influences the number of miles the character can cover per day on foot. A character has a number of movement points equal to her Movement rating. The cost to cover one mile of various types of terrain is given in the table below.

Travel Table
Traveler Movement Points Clear Mountain Desert Forest River Animal Walk / Sprint
Human Movement rating 1/3 3 2 1 +2 --
Horse 20 1/4 4 1 3 +1 10/30
Ox 10 1 3 4 2 +4 5/10
Mule/Pony 20 1/2 2 2 2 +2 10/20
Camel 20 1/2 5 1 3 +8 10/30
Elephant 15 2 4 8 2 +1 10/20

Clear: plains, steppes, meadows, farmlands, etc.

Desert: includes tundra

Forest: includes jungle

River: applied only when fording rivers is necessary

If an animal is carrying a rider, it has only 2/3 its usual points available for travel. If pulling a chariot or wagon, it has only 1/2 the usual points available.

1. One of the images burnt into my mind from Conan the Barbarian is him & Subotai jogging endlessly across the trackless waste. Another bit of genre emulation here?