Bounty Hunters

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Bounty Hunters
IndustryMercenary Law-Enforcement
Area servedSolar System
ServicesBounty Hunting

The Space Patrol was never that big an organization, not when compared to the size and complexity of Fenspace. After the end of the Boskone War it found it was having trouble pursuing fleeing felons thoroughly. At the 2014 Convention, Patrol Commissioner Russel proposed that the Convention legalize and regulate Bounty Hunting as a solution, inspired in part by shows such as The Fall Guy, Cowboy Bebop and Gunsmith Cats. It was a controversial suggestion, with some vehement arguments against from some Fen who felt that it opened the gates to vigilante justice.

The motion passed by a fair margin, though some stations and settlement have opted to ban bounty hunters within their own jurisdiction.


The system established was somewhat inspired by the source, but is much more heavily regulated. Bounty Hunters must apply for a license from a local Space Patrol officer, demonstrating that they are 'of good character' and have had no prior criminal convictions in Fenspace. In general, they would also be called for an interview, be required to demonstrate some competency beyond the ability to fill in a form, and not be of obviously impaired judgment. Bounty Hunter licenses are issued for a year (8760 standard hours) and must be renewed at the end of each period. The renewal can be refused 'for good reason'. A license can also be revoked for misconduct or criminal acts. It can be somewhat arbitrary, and often depends on how friendly the local Patrol are to the prospective hunter.

The Big Shot: Fenspace's Largest Bounty
The highest bounty yet posted is that posted on the head of Asmodeus Grey, who is specifically wanted alive. It's boosted further by reward money offered by a number of different individuals, Fen corporations, and factions[1] to the point where it's more than enough to buy your own L5 Station and be set for life. As of October 2014, nobody has yet claimed it, though not for lack of trying.

Bounties are posted through the Space Patrol, and the patrol maintains a list of bounties on the interwave, kept publicly accessible. Bounties are set according to the crimes committed by the subject, and often include rewards posted by victims along with the patrol bounty. Bounties are paid on presentation of the fugitive in a condition fit to face justice to a space patrol officer, along with a valid bounty-hunting license.

Bounty hunters are required to bring their bounty in alive and in a condition fit for justice to get paid.... though they are authorized to use lethal force for self defence. In general, any bounty hunter shooting a bounty is going to be required to give a very good reason in front of the local Patrol. Bounty Hunters are also held responsible for any collateral damage they cause in the course of capturing the bounty... so in practice have to be far more careful about using force than popular fiction depicts. Active members of the Space Patrol and Great Justice are prohibited from registering as bounty hunters, to prevent a conflict of interest.

Most settlements generally expect Bounty Hunters to also register themselves on arrival, This cuts down on the number of times the locals have to respond to "there's a man/woman/'droid/thing with a gun!" calls. It's not unusual for a hunter to 'forget' to register. It's a bit of a gamble on their part.... The local patrol may be less inclined to help someone who's caused them unnecessary trouble, while at the same time, if you're tracing a suspect from station to station, depending on local regs the time spent registering with local law might well be too much.


Two bounty hunters going after the same target

Bounty Hunters are occasionally known as Cowboys, Fetts, Jubals or Blade Runners, depending on the Fen. Some are former cops or demobbed OGJ. A good few are Warsies out in waved Mandalorian armour of varying quality. Most have acquired a small network of reliable contacts who can feed them leads on fugitives, in exchange for a cut of the bounty or a flat fee. Bounty hunters tend pragmatic individuals, who might well overlook a small fry if they're able to provide good information on a bigger fish with a bigger reward. Bounty Hunters rely on their reputations far more than a cop, both with the Space Patrol, and among their sources... and often walk a precarious balance keeping both sides happy.

Bounty Hunting is most common in the frontier parts of Mars and Serenity Valley, and is rare in the Crystal Cities, but Hunters can be found among all factions.

There are a few career Bounty Hunters going after the big rewards, but the vast majority see it as something of a side-dish to add a little variety to their lives. Most only chase up prospective bounties within their local settlement. A few Bounty Hunters will work alongside a troubleshooter. The troubleshooter gets access to the bounty hunters contacts, while the bounty hunter gets access to the troubleshooter's target... sometimes they can have very big bounties on them[2]. Some elements of the Space Patrol frown on this, but that's more because of the strained relationship between the Patrol and Troubleshooters than anything inherently wrong with the arrangement.

Ford Sierra is one such Bounty Hunter, maintaining her mechanic's shop as her main source of income and Bounty Hunting on her spare time, or if a particularly nice fish happens to land at Marsbase Sara. She also regularly works with her troubleshooter partner Jet Jaguar doing certain jobs Jet can't.


  1. Including the Wizarding World and Stellvia Corporation
  2. Another benefit is that the Troubleshooter can quietly ask a contact in the Patrol to 'mistakenly' place a small bounty for a petty-crime on a person of interest, then have their partner pick them up without arousing much suspicion. The bounty is repaid when the 'error' is discovered