Founding and Background
Vault Hunters are not a faction with a coherent leadership or a common set of operating principles: it is a label
which is applied to a group of people with similar aims that are, in fact, in competition with each other. Vault
Hunters are the forefront of the salvage efforts in modern times – they are independent individuals who are
“seeking their fortune” and are often willing to take risks that others are not.
A Vault Hunter’s primary goal is to discover facilities that were lost or abandoned during the Cataclysm. There
are as many methods of doing this as there are personalities in Gaia: some might wander, hoping to get lucky,
others might use local rumour, still others may negotiate access to other facilities and use records within to
deduce the location of a Vault. Once they find and enter a facility, they usually salvage anything of value.
Weapons are the most sought after commodity, closely followed by stored medicines.
Any Vault Hunter who finds a facility is guaranteed a rich life – some even sell the locations to nearby
settlements or factions such as the Sisterhood of Pyrus.
The Vault Hunters started appearing about 50 years ago. A bunker was discovered by a Runner caught in a
sandstorm at the egde of Fallout. The sand which had covered the entry hatch since the Cataclysm was shifted
by the storm. It turned out to be an old government facility: the weapons and equipment inside allowed the
finder to become a local warlord. After his success, others began a hunt to find more such facilities. Selling
the location of a Vault to certain factions is guaranteed wealth, not even including anything that might be found
inside, so Vault Hunting became a profession for many who wished to trust in their luck.
With the number of facilities found every year falling – only three were reported found in the last year – the
number of Vault Hunters is dropping faster than any other faction.
There are numerous stories of Vault Hunters who tried to bluff about knowing the location of a Vault. These
tales invariably ended with disasterous results, ranging from the revenge of furious bidders to open war
between factions when one tried to keep the location secret from another.
Vault Hunters have no organisation or leadership. Each operates for their own interests and profit, though they
are occasionally found in small groups.
For most, Vault Hunting is a profession of last resort. As a result, most Vault Hunters live rough, out in the wilds
of Gaia – an extremely dangerous lifestyle, arguably even more so than being a Runner!
Vault Hunters who have found a Vault, on the other hand, often retire to City or elsewhere to live in total luxury
for the remainder of their days.
As Vault Hunters are not a faction, there’s no recruitment – anyone who wishes to be a Vault Hunter can simply
declare themselves so and head out into the dangerous uninhabited areas of Gaia!
Vault Hunters who haven’t found a Vault are the bottom-dwellers of society – they salvage whatever they can
and are often accused of being thieves. Vault Hunters who have been successful, on the other hand, are some
of the most desirable members of society on Gaia. Many of them retire to City or found their own towns, where
people flock to hear their tales of adventure and daring.
The Sisterhood of Pyrus takes a special interest in successful Vault Hunters, as the Sisterhood’s lifestyle in
Vaults cannot easily be achieved with equipment made since the Cataclysm. Every faction, however, can
benefit from the contents of a Vault, so it is unlikely that Vault Hunters will ever entirely vanish.