Free Agent Professions

Free Agents are troubleshooters or field operatives who rely on agility, interaction skills, and natural independence to get a job done. They're agents who may be ops for hire, or they may have ties to a specific government or organization (not normally), but in general they work better in small groups than as members of a large force.

Examples of professions within the Free Agent field:

Assassin (coming soon!)

Bounty Hunter tracks, locates, and captures those who have fled justice or are wanted by any legal or illegal authority -- as long as the pay matches the danger involved. It's easy to vanish in such areas as the Outer Rim, and some people seem to do it with surprising regularity. Bounty hunters are then sent to find the poor, lost souls and return them to where they're supposed to be -- normally a prison cell. Then they're paid their fee and leave to find the next lost person. Bounty hunters get two kinds of jobs: bond work and contracts. Bond work is more common. A hunter checks to see who has a price on their head (through a Guild or whatever) , and then goes after that person. In many cases, bond work is perfectly legal, and the local justice system guarantees the reward. In other cases, bond work is simply another word for an open contract; the first bounty hunter that finds the wanted person can claim the reward. Contract work shows up on a character's doorstep after he's proven himself with bond work. When a bounty hunter earns a reputation, powerful people seek him out and offer him lucrative jobs.

Corsair/Pirate/Privateer While a few corsairs claim to operate as privateers under legal letters, even the best of them command some illegal operations. It's a brutal and ruthless lifestyle lived among the very dregs of human and alienkind. Like the spacehand, a corsair moves around a lot, shipping with one crew for a few months, squandering his ill-gotten wealth, then signing on with another crew for a new spree of blood and terror. Heroic corsairs limit themselves to piracy against hostile corporations or enemy governments, and they spare lives whenever possible. Unfortunately, most corsairs aren't very heroic.

Explorers wants to see new things, discover new places, and generally visit locations that no one else has ever been to. He's an adventurer-for-hire, a person driven by wanderlust and curiosity, or a dreamer in search of some mythological place. He never settles down, preferring to keep moving -- to see what lies beyond the next hill or star system. An explorer can also serve as a scout or guide, depending on the concept you come up with. Despite the high levels of traffic in the galaxy, there are still hundreds of star systems that eyes have never seen. Some of these may be the homes of new alien species, others might hold mineral wealth beyond imagining, and still others might possess the greatest of all prizes -- a world ready for settlement. But there are dangers in open space, and a few exploration vessels have disappeared in search of the unknown.

Gambler are professional card sharks, dice players, or experts at some other game of chance. He makes a living by locating the big games and finding a way to win. Some gamblers are highly skilled players; others are highly skilled cheaters. All know how to bluff, charm, or seduce their way out of tight situations. Gamblers usually have some other talent to fall back on. They'd rather win the day through wits and skill, but some learn to fight, to protect themselves during those times when the game takes a dark and deadly turn. They love to play the odds -- and they don't like to lose.

Guide/Scout Computer-generated maps, charts, and diagrams of a specific area can only reveal so much. A knowledgeable scout or guide can point out ambush spots, negotiate hostile terrain, and warn travelers away from dangerous areas more efficiently than any computer. Travelers, hunters, and even military units hire guides (a good guide is always ready to fight if the need arises).

Investigator/Detective Crime, vice, and sordid activity of all kinds fill the galaxy. Investigators are characters who have learned to sift through the worst that space has to offer in order to bring the darkest and dirtiest secrets to light. Skilled at examining crime scenes, tracking down people who disappear, and piecing together evidence, a professional investigator is a tremendous addition to any party of characters. Investigators may serve with a dozen different law enforcement agencies -- such as the national police of a major power or the system police of a Rim world -- or they may choose private employment.

Outlaw A marked man in every system, an outlaw must pay for each moment of freedom with endless vigilance and constant awareness of his surroundings. One misstep and he's doomed to twenty years in a labor camp -- or worse. Not all outlaws are predatory criminals: some are innocent, framed for the crimes of another; others are political exiles; a few are rebels against a corporation or government they find intolerable. Regardless of how they gained their illegal status, outlaws now exist within a shadowy world filled with crime lords and desperation.

Reporter keeps the public informed through articles in the print media or by filing stories on computer networks or over some other form of broadcast media. A crusading journalist is an advocate for the people. An investigative journalist seeks to uncover conspiracies or otherwise expose the truth about governments, corporations, or products. A reporter believes in the freedom of the press, the public's right to know, and the power of the press to influence, inform, and entertain. He'll stop at nothing to get the story, risking danger, threats, and even death in some cases to bring the truth to light.

There are two primary media forms supporting professional reporters: local holo-vids and the galactic holo-net (GNN). Holovids represent the most popular means of communication; they consist of holographic images that can project virtually anywhere. The reporter simply wears a holocam and projects himself into a scene to report the news. Holocasts rarely leave the system in which they're broadcast, but popular stories are transmitted to data merchants, who carry the projection with them to other systems. The Galactic Holo-net (GNN) is an easier form of communication. By connecting to it, a reporter gains access to all of known space -- eventually. GNN stories are often unpolished and slanted, but they're also considered the most authentic news reports.

Smuggler All good smugglers maintain a cover of some kind, operating openly as free traders, working spacers, or corporate couriers. Smugglers are creatures of opportunity, awaiting the chance to haul illegal or restricted goods for more profit than regular cargo can offer. While smuggling can be quite lucrative, it has its own risks. First, the character who places his ship on the wrong side of the law risks heavy fines, prison time, or even execution if authorities catch him. Secondly, a smuggler has no one to whom he can complain if he's shortchanged or robbed, since he can't even admit he was carrying the cargo in question.

Spy is a clandestine agent employed by a government or some other organization to gather information. He secretly watches others, keeps surveillance, engages in espionage, military intelligence, industrial espionage, communications security, counterintelligence, sabotage, electronic intelligence -- the list of potential missions for a spy is virtually endless. Some spies are independent agents, gathering information to sell to the highest bidder. Others are loyal to an employer, company men who engage in games of death and deceit for the same organization for as long as they stay in the business. In between high-profile missions, most spies carefully maintain several cover identities, crafting imaginary careers and backgrounds against the day that they'll need to assume a different identity. Spying is a dangerous game. Most governments and corporations object violently to espionage efforts, and every day secret operatives are compromised and eliminated by the organization on which they're spying. Worse yet, parent agencies often disavow their most secret operatives if a mission goes bad. Spies often require extensive support teams to "handle" them in the field providing up-to-the-minute intelligence and backup in case of failure.

Thief A good thief can mean the difference between an easy resolution to a problem and a bloody firefight. By swiping a pass code from a nearby guard, sneaking past a watchful sentry, or recovering a much-needed antidote under dead of night, a thief can offer nonviolent solutions to problems that would otherwise require direct confrontation. These professional cat burglars might not even earn their living from their heists; covert entry is a field in which the top experts can command lucrative salaries from various corporate sponsors, working as part of an espionage team. Other thieves make their living by preying off the weak, destitute, and the unaware. By turning around and fencing what they've stolen, a thief can earn around 30% of the item's value. Naturally, a character of this sort is a criminal.

Warlord (coming soon!)