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During setup of the adventure my group was doing (Night of the Zealot II) caused several cultists to be placed on the map. Am I allowed to place bounties on them as a result of them "entering play" or am I not yet in play (and therefor Bounty Contacts isn't in play in order to trigger)?

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Yes, you should be able to place bounties on enemies during setup

Setup instructions from Rules Reference, p.27 (Leaving out some unrelevant parts):

    1. Choose investigators. Each player chooses a different investigator, and places that investigator’s card in his or her play area.
  • 2-3. [...]
    1. Assemble and shuffle the investigator decks.
  • 5-6. [...]
    1. Collect starting resources. Each investigator gains 5 resources from the token pool.
    1. Draw opening hands. Each player draws 5 cards. Each player, in player order, may mulligan once at this time. =Each weakness card
      drawn during this step is ignored, set aside (without resolving it),
      and replaced by drawing another card from the deck. Upon completion
      of this step, shuffle each of these weakness cards back into its
      owner’s deck.
    1. Read the scenario introduction in the campaign guide.
    1. Perform the scenario setup instructions indicated by the campaign guide. This includes gathering the encounter sets listed in
      the setup instructions in the campaign guide, placing locations,
      placing investigator mini cards at the location each investigator
      begins play at, setting aside any listed cards, and shuffling
      remaining encounter cards together to form the encounter deck.
  • 11-13. [...]

Now, rules for Permanent cards (RR p.16):

Permanent is a deckbuilding keyword ability.

  • A card with the permanent keyword does not count towards your deck size.
  • A card with the permanent keyword still counts as being part of your deck and must therefore adhere to all other deckbuilding
    restrictions.
  • A card with the permanent keyword starts each game in play and is not shuffled into your investigator deck during setup.
  • A card with the permanent keyword cannot be discarded by any means.

And let's look at Stick to the Plan

Permanent. Exceptional.

Before you draw your opening hand: Search your deck for up to 3 different Tactic and/or Supply events, and attach them to Stick to the Plan. Shuffle your deck....[Continues]

and Indebted

Permanent.

You start each game with 2 fewer resources.

This implies that SttP and Indebted must be in play by 8th and 7th step of setup (since permanents are considered part of the deck, I believe they actually come into play during step 4); scenario setup happens during step 10, Bounty Contracts is a Permanent and already in play by then.

  • Perfect, that's what we assumed, but finding the relevant parts in the order of setting up had been difficult, so we just went with it figuring that if we were wrong, it wouldn't be a major issue. – Draco18s no longer trusts SE Nov 18 '19 at 19:59

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