The bounty hunter is a combination city rat, spy, and wilderness scout who specializes in tracking down wanted criminals, desperados, and fugutives --- dead or alive. These manhunters are often cold, unmerciful men and woman with some past military or combat experience. They can be members of a mercenary company, adventurer group, team of bounty hunters, bandits, or can act as a lone-wolf oeprative.
A brigand with a knack for art and forgery. This character uses his skills to create false passports, citizen's papers, identity cards, credit cards, invoices, and other documents. He or she is also able to recognize/identify other forgeries. The forger is also usually familiar with the use of compuers, cameras and video/film equipment. The latter is vital for reference purposes. Like the safecracker,although this character may be a criminal and work with thives, con-me, and smuglers, the character typucally has a few basic theif/rogue skills.
Note: This tends to be a thinking man's character who plans ahead and whose real power lies in his non-combat abilities more than anything else.
Spies are becoming commonplace on Rifts Earth. The half dozen large nations of North America, the dozens of medium-sized kingdoms, and powerful corporations all want to get information on each other as well as on other groups, like larger mercenaris forces, dragons, gangs, and rebels that may threaten their operations. This is whre professional spies come in; men and women who make their living infiltrating governments and corporations and stealing their secrets. Through theft, bribery, seduction, confidence games, keen observation and the use of surveillance equipment, they penetrate the target's security and get the information they seek. The ideal spy is a combination of actor, con-man, master thief and soldier. Freelance spies are no strangers to combat, but they prefer to yuse subtle methods to get what they want. If shots are tired, that probably means the mission has taken an unexpected turn or has failed.
Spies are a subset of the mercenary trade. Both jobs involve the sale of semi-legal (or downright illegal) services. Many mercenary companies havre a small team of spies working full-time for them. Some spies hire small mercenary groups to serve as back-up in case something goes wrong. And many freelancers do both spying and mercenary work, depending on what jobs are available at the moment.
Assassins for hire are also making a comeback on Earth. Many of them are ex-military or ex-security force members who have only one truly valuable skill: killing people. Unlike most mercenaries, they kill not in the battlefield but in the unlikely places, such as along city streets, at parties and private quarters. Most (90%) Master Assassins will be miscreant or aberrant, with the rest either anarchist or diabolic. Some anarchist and aberrant assassins will only kill targets that "deserve it" (At least in their opinion) and may never accept a job where innocent people will be harmed. Miscreant, diabolic, and many anarchists don't care who the target is or who else might get hurt. The aberrant assassin is probably the most trustworthy in the lot, provided the employer does not cheat, betrey or repulse him/her. Many mercenary companies have one or more master assassins used to eliminate targets of designated individuals. Often one well placed shot, eliminating a key individual, can cripple or divide an enemy force.
A safecracker is a demolitions expert and mechanical engineer who uses his special "talents" to "crack" safes, open security doors, break in and out or prisons, pick locks, avoid/bypass or disarm security systems and similar feats. They can use their abilities to such precision that they can "blow" the lock off a safe, security door, safe deposit box, and similiar without creating a big, area effecr explosion or inflicting massive amounts of damage. This means delicate, flammable or valuable contents of a safe or container or person/item behind the door may be shaken up a bit but not damaged or injured. The blast and subsqeunt damage is concentrated and directed at disabling locks and opening doors.
The skill can also be used for precision demolition and sabotage. The character is an expert in the use of all types of explosives, incendiary devices, blasting caps, and timing devices. He or she is also a mechanical engineer with a basic knowledge of electronics and computers.
Although the safecracker may use his demolitions expertise to steal the contents of a safe (for criminal/selfish reasons or as an espionage spcialist) and use documents and data gotten from safes as evidence against others or blackmail, the character seldom knows any rogue or theiving skils. He's a safecracker --- a specialist, not a common crook.
The smuggler is fundamentally a combination confidence man and theif. The character makes a living acquiring illegal items, hiding them from the authorities or those looking for them, and selling and/or transporting the items to the purchaser. The smuggler may also engage in the acquisition and selling of information and the hiding and/or transporting of fugitives. These brigands learn to think on their feet, use words carefully and to their advantage (many are masterful liars), and develop a poker face. Most have spent hours practicing how to try to remain calm, innocent and composed looking when facing down the law or an accuser.
While some smugglers may be considered freedom fighters, helping D-bees, rebels and underground networks by acquiring, hiding and selling weapons, good and supplies, most are selfish mrcenaries and thieves who don't take sides and sell to the highest bidder. The most cutthroat, resourceful and daring may cooperate with both sides of a conflict! After all, the longer a conflict lasts and the more heated it becomes, the greater potential for profit (and the greater the danger for all parties involved, as well as the cost in lives).
Depending on the situation, contraband can include books, food, and medical supplies to weapons, cytbernetics and drugs. Despicable smugglers may work with body-chop-shops and encourage, create or make "acquisitions" from cyber-snatchers. Most smugglers don't ask questions about the hsitory of an item or the ethics of the supplier. These villains will smuggler and sell anything or anybody for the right price, without regard to whom it may hurt. While many smugglers may have skills in thievery, most operate as con-men and middle men, hiring other thieves ad mercenaries to actually procure the item. However, depdning on the character's disposition and abilities they can be active thieves, spies and fighters.
Special Forces soldiers are given special training not available to regular troopers. This is because their missions are more difficult and hazardous than those of normal soldiers. Special Forces troopers are expected to operate with very little support from the rest of the army and to engage in "covert" operations that are secret and may have no official support or acknowledgement. Among their assignments, these troopers have to scout enemy positions, engage in sabotage, train or fight guerilla or terrorist groups, engage in kidnapping, or rescure hostages.
The Coalition Military Specialist O.C.C. is a Special Forces class. This new O.C.C. applies for the most part to non-Coalition armies in city-states like Ishpeming or the Manistique Imperium. Only large armies can offord the specialized training that produces Special Forces characters. Mercenaries love to recruit these soldiers because their training makes them ideal for the low resources that most merc companies can afford. When they leave the military, these soldiers may become independent operatives, adventurers or market their services as elite bodyguards, protectors, troubleshoots and even as lawmen/sheriffs. Many wilderness towns, cities and kingdoms ae interested i such "specialists."
The Super-Spy is the same basic type of character as the Freelance Spy, but he or she has an edge. This edge may be magical, cybernetic, or psionic (player's choice). Essentially, the character was a budding mage, psychic or D-bee with unique powers who underwent the arduous training of a professional spy (and thus is less proficient than a dedicated magic practitioner or psychic). Or he'she may be a spy who has the connections and resources to get extensive cybernetic and bionic systems. Super-spies are the most deadly members or their profession, combining their skills with paranormal abilities to achieve the impossible.
The professional thief is a cut above the two-bit hoodlum most people picture when they think of thieves. They are more like cat-burglars and surveillance experts. This character rarely engaged in muggings and petty robbery. They set their sights on larger, more challenging targets.