Back in October an original, new setting was released written specifically for the 4th edition GSL - Wraith Recon. I found it to be quite an interesting setting as the player characters comprise a Navy S.E.A.L. like recon squad, performing various assignments to protect a free kingdom within a chaotic and dangerous world. I talked with Bryan Steele, author of Wraith Recon, about the new setting.
The world in the setting, Nuera, is described as "a world beset by magic, wars, and mystery," and the free kingdom in which the pc's hail from is Dardarrick, can you give us the basic backdrop of the setting...
Dardarrick is the strongest and most influential kingdom on a world that was forged as kind of a god "experiment", and it was the favoured son so to speak of the father of all the gods. It was the place where mortals waged the most wars and such over its fertile and central territory. Over the centuries Dardarrick suffered a great deal under the yokke of others, only becoming free once they discovered a powerful artefact that gives them magical superiority over their foes. By the time of the written supplements, Dardarrick has risen to the top of the main Nueraen continent's power structure and is threatened from all sides and within by all manner of enemies.
So where did the initial idea to have a group of player characters as a recon unit stem from?
Well, to tell you the truth, Wraith Recon was born in the mind of the Master Mongoose himself, Matthew Sprange. He sat me down in Las Vegas last year and we started talking about what we wanted out of the project. In less than an hour and a few more emails later, Wraith Recon took shape and the strike teams were formed.
What are the different roles within a Wraith Recon unit? Are they similar to a typical 4th Edition adventuring party?
Absolutely. The game was designed to be perfect for 4th Edition and we wanted anyone familiar with 4E to be able to jump right in.
So if a player has already made a 4E character, she can just drop it into the game?
It takes a little adjustment to make a normal character "Nueraen", but the main rulebook has a section in it that talks about how to make that happen...so, yes.
How do these roles work as far as executing the various tasks, such as assassinations, reconnaissance, hostage rescue, etc.?
Well, the Wraith Recon Strike Teams are trained and equipped by Spellcaster Command, their resource management headquarters of sorts. SpellCom sets them up with their targets, drops them in using teleportation and the like, and the Wraiths get the job done. Whatever that needs to be.
Now, the units start out armed with a basic package of resources given to them by Dardarrick, one of these items being the Omnilens, can you tell us what that is?
The SpellCom Omnilens is a magical item designed by the master archmages of Dardarrick that allows the arcanists at Spellcaster Command to watch over, communicate and send aid to the teams in the field. It is also how the Wraiths keep in touch with one another and get a few special bonuses along the way.
Regarding the resource package, how complex does it get when starting out at higher level?
There is a table based on level and class that goes from level 1 to level 20. It is pretty easy to follow, and can be adjusted by some favours earned by the team's leader or given by the mission's inherent bonuses.
What was the biggest challenge for you when fleshing all of this out?
Trying to mesh everything together with the new 4E rules was likely the biggest task. Wraith Recon was deisgned for it, but it was still a new rules system to try and surmount while coming up with a flavourful and interesting world that people could play in.
What was your favorite part, or moment, when writing Wraith Recon?
It has to be the creation and fleshing out of the Nueraen Pantheon. They are the real movers and shakers in the back story, and a great deal of it is revealed in Enemies Within, the first rule supplement that should be hitting stores soon.