This was the subject of much discussion during the Savage Worlds session I ran last night, since 3 out of 5 members of my group are rules lawyers, counting me. Having read through the relevant sections of the Savage Worlds Deluxe rule book this morning, I feel reasonably confident that there are no rules as written regarding this question. In fact, the best I could find on PegInc's forums was this from Clint Black:
As to the overarching questions of what other actions/attacks/etc. fall under certain categories by RAW, that's more of an open forum discussion, but I would note the equally overarching answer to all of them by the RAW...
Whatever the GM decides fits that category.
That post doesn't specifically address Stealth, per se, but since it does address other "other actions/attacks/etc." I feel fairly comfortable accepting it.
Since being the GM and having an opinion is rarely enough to quiet my demons/players, however, here's my rationalization:
Yes, Movement by itself is a free action. However, modified Movement is typically an Action. Running, by RAW, is an Action. Climbing, Jumping, and Swimming, according to Clint Black, are typically Actions as well.
climbing, jumping and swimming are actions ?
Typically, yes, all those would be actions.
When you're trying to move while avoiding detection (or in order to avoid detection), This would also seem to me to be an Action. If it wasn't, then you could attempt to Run, Climb, Jump, or Swim stealthily with little worry. However, I note that the Stealth Modifiers table specifically mentions a -2 penalty for Running - this could be read to suggest that Running is inflicting a Multi-action Penalty on your Stealth check.
So, is rolling Stealth in Combat an Action? Am I correct in believing that there are no RAW on the subject, or have I missed something? Does my rationalization seem to hold water, or is it full of holes?