Movement in most BESM games will occur in one of two fashions - either Combat movement or Overland movement. Combat movement is any movement that takes place during combat and is at the personal level (thus common obstacles might include a wall or a hole in the ground). Overland movement simulates the "dotted red line on the map" - obstacles might be mountains or rivers. Each of these two kinds of movement have rules supporting their use.

Combat Movement

Squares per Round

Every turn, characters are allowed to move across the map. The total number of squares that a character may move is determined by their Body Stat + any bonuses from attributes (such as Speed, Flight, or several others). This number is often referred to as a character's Speed. A character may move less than their total Speed but, unless special circumstances apply, the character may not move more squares than their Speed allows. Unless utilizing a special attribute (such as Speed Burst), a character may only move once on their turn. Thus, if a character with a Body of 5 moves 3 squares and then perform an action, they may not continue their movement after the action is performed (those 2 potential squares are lost).

Movement around Enemies

Normal movement (movement up to the character's Speed rating) leaves a character vulnerable to attack. If a character exits a square that is within an enemy's Melee Range (usually all squares adjacent to the enemy), that character has dropped their defenses and suffers a 2 point penalty to their Defense Value until the end of their next turn. A character may instead make a defensive movement, called a Shift. When a character Shifts, they may only move 1 square. Due to the defensive nature of the Shift, the character does not suffer a Defense Value penalty even if they exit a square that is within an enemy's Melee Range.

Only 1 character may stand on a given square at a time. That said, characters may freely move through squares occupied by allies, as long as they do not end their movement in that square. Characters may not move through squares that are occupied by enemies.

Difficult Terrain

Some squares cost additional movement to enter. These squares are called Difficult Terrain. Difficult Terrain could be loose, shifting gravel, thick underbrush, furniture or any other object that would slow down characters. Typically, a square of Difficult Terrain costs 2 squares of movement to enter. Take note that this means that most characters may not Shift into Difficult Terrain, as a Shift is only 1 square of movement and Difficult Terrain requires 2 or more to enter. For this reason, fighting on Difficult Terrain is typically not very mobile (and can be a good strategy for keeping enemies away from a goal).

Dropping/Being Knocked Prone

When a character is Prone (lying down on the ground), either by their own choice or because an enemy knocked them prone, they receive certain benefits and suffer certain penalties. Dropping Prone is a free action, however it costs 1 square of movement in order to stand up. While Prone, your movement is halved (round down). When Prone

Attacking While Moving

Firing a ranged weapon (anything longer than Melee Range) while moving is difficult. Thus, unless the character has the appropriate Gun Bunny ability, they suffer a 2 point penalty to use a ranged weapon if they choose to move on that round.

Moving Stealthily

It is difficult to remain hidden while moving. Any character who wishes to do so may only move at 1/2 their normal movement rate. The Stealth Attribute may increase this movement rate.

Overland Movement

Traveling overland on the map is handled differently than individual character movement in combat. On foot or without special Attributes, base movement is 1 square per day. Vehicles and some characters may have special movement-related Attributes that allow a group of characters to move more quickly. The base movement in such cases is equal to the movement bonus provided by the Attribute (Speed lvl 1 provides 1 square of bonus movement, so it is not significantly faster than normal travel; Ground Speed lvl 1 provides 2 squares of movement so is twice as fast as characters traveling on foot; Flight lvl 1 provides only 1 square of bonus movement, but allows the group to travel over terrain features that otherwise must be circumnavigated). The group travels at the lowest speed in the group, unless they wish to leave a slower character, mount, or vehicle behind.

Hazardous Terrain

The map may be marked at any given time with hazardous terrain that may represent ley line storms, harsh desert, radiation zones, or dangerous canyons and mountains. The travelers can opt to go around them on the map, avoiding the danger at the cost of a longer journey, or may pass through it, facing the danger to travel faster.


At some points, the story-tellers may inform the group that a shortcut is available. This may represent a pass through a mountains, cutting across a desert basin, or fording a river. A group roll of Mind + Navigation or Survival is made. The terrain may apply a penalty to this roll, depending on the dangers involved. If the group succeeds they are granted additional movement based on the shortcut (different shortcuts may provide more or less bonus movement).

Forced Marches

When speed is of the essence, a group of travelers can push themselves to march or ride faster and harder. In order to travel at speed an extra level of Provisions for mounts or Fuel for vehicles must be spent as creatures and machines are pushed to their limits. The forced march allows the group to travel their base movement again that day. However, each rider must individually roll either Body-Soul + Animal Ken or Ride for mounts (bonuses from harnesses do not apply) or Body-Mind + Drive or Pilot for vehicles. The story-tellers may apply a penalty to this roll depending on the terrain or conditions. For any character who fails this roll, the movement Attribute of their mount or vehicle is reduced by one level representing strain on an animal’s body or injury, or damage and wear to a vehicle. The group may spend Provisions and Fuel, making a roll each time, as much as they want or have the supplies to attempt. All Attribute losses kick in at the end of the day of travel. If a mount or vehicle has been reduced to negative movement Attributes at the end of the day, then the animal dies or the vehicle breaks down completely.
This Attribute may be restored by a roll of Mind + Medicine for injured mounts or Mind + Technology for vehicles and takes one full day. Genius-type Attributes may reduce this enough that a group can get in partial to full traveling on that day if the repairs or healing is successful. Dead mounts and broken-down vehicles cannot be repaired or healed.

Traveling by Night

If travelers need to cover still more distance after forced marching, or if they don’t have the supplies to pull off a forced march, they can always opt to continue to travel after dark. Traveling by night can be dangerous and requires a Mind + Navigation or Survival roll made by the group. Terrain may, as usual, incur a penalty to this roll. If the roll succeeds, then the group may travel their base movement again. Each pt by which they fail reduces their movement by 1 square to a minimum of 1. Traveling by night can cover more distance, but is slower than traveling by day.
Characters a living mount may doze in the saddle, though it’s not very comfortable. Characters sleeping in the saddle regain Body -2 Health per night, and Mind-Soul -2 Energy per hour. If characters are riding in a vehicle (not driving), they may sleep, though it is still somewhat cramped and uncomfortable. Characters sleeping in a vehicle regain Body -1 Health per night, and Mind-Soul -1 Energy per hour.

Hunting and Foraging

Traveling uses up supplies, but there are creatures and animals that can be hunted for food, wild edibles to be gathered, or old stores that can be dug up. By sacrificing one square of base movement, the group may roll Body-Mind + Survival. The terrain may result in a penalty to this roll. Each square of movement sacrificed this way allows a roll to hunt, gather, and forage, but each roll after the first has a cumulative 1pt penalty as they gather the easy to find and hunt all the game. Success obtains supplies. Spot-on counts as a pt of success.
1pt of success can obtain 1 level of Provisions.
3pts of success can obtain 1 level of Fuel or Ammo.
5pts of success can obtain items worth 1 level of Wealth.