40K: Phil Kelly Talks 8th Ed. Plotline


Sit down with GW’s Phil Kelly and Andy to talk about what’s happening in the Grimdark as we launch into 8th Edition.

Key 8th Edition Lore Takeaways

  • 40k’s storyline in 8th picks up and grows off the seeds planted in “Gathering Storm”
  • The chaos actions and invasions during Traitor’s Hate/ Angel’s Blade have punched through reality and contributed to the Great Rift’s creation.
  • The Great Rift has basically created two Imperiums.
  • The Imperium Nihilis is the great wilderness of the galaxy with opportunities for mayhem and new plotlines.
  • Chaos and Xenos are ascendant and taking advantage of the upheaval.
  • Armageddon is getting some attention with a new plotline planned – many factions will vie for control.
  • Ultramar is under attack by the Death Guard.
  • Mortarion is described as patient and strategic. He has been biding his time and planning his revenge upon Ultramar.
  • The Daemon Primarchs are pulling the strings of the chaos force’s actions.
  • New narratives will be crafted for how the Great Rift affects the actions of every Xenos faction – each will get their turn.

Onto the Rules…

Key Design Takeaways

  • Design was designed to keep the depth and granularity of 40K.
  • More accessible to new players than the old ruleset.
  • Unified rules structure that can handle anything from a grot to a Warlord titan.
  • Support multiple styles of play from casual to competitive.
  • Putting the rules you need to play in front of the player when they need them – datasheets.
  • Power Level ratings reflects the “average” power level of a unit between it’s minimum and maximum equipment options.
  • Keywords are designed to both allow desired rules synergies while restricting unwanted rules combos in one elegant package.
  • Command Points give the player some strategy options to give them a feel of command outside of their models.

Look for more of these in the days ahead.

~ What’s your favorite part of the new 8th Lore?


  • Boondox

    Armageddon. The ultimate dead horse…

    • Drpx

      The Poland of 40k.

      • Moik

        I think it’s more like Syria.

        • Drpx

          For it to be like Syria, you’d have to have Orks fighting Chaos with the backing of the Necrons, the hive dwellers supporting the Orks because they’re more afraid of
          Chaos, and the Imperium and Tau bombing both sides to try to show they’re the good guys.

    • But we’ve been riding this dead horse the same way as always.

    • Johan Strandh

      Half of me agrees with you but the other half still ooh’s and aah’s when I think of the correlation between Armageddon and Ullanor, so I really hope they pull that string even harder and make something really funky out of it.

      • KingAceNumber1

        At this point it just feels like Cadia lite. They went and blew up their main focal planet for important battles, so they just picked another one.

  • Xodis

    Really hope GW take advantage of the new lore and start moving to other planets….like with the Konor campaign. Armageddon isn’t worth fighting for at this point, just Exterminatus and call it a day.

    • Rafał Pytlak

      And give up Ullanor? HERESY!

    • paxter

      Armageddon is pretty much a lost cause esp if you consider that all that factories are practically destroyed…

      • dante13

        They don’t need Factories anymore they’ve got Girlyman and Crawl.

      • Red_Five_Standing_By

        it is now that half the planet is engulfed in daemon poop.

      • Moonsaves

        If the Orks don’t focus on Armageddon, they’ll just go somewhere else.

    • KingAceNumber1

      I think it’s more the principle of the thing at this point, but I agree with you. Although I will say I’m glad Exterminatus is treated with the appropriate level of last-resort-iness by the writers.

      • Red_Five_Standing_By

        Yeah sometimes I feel like it is the easy solution.

  • Drpx

    –Guy who got stuck in the Warp, couldn’t figure a way out and had to pledge himself to Nurgle body and soul is now patient and strategic. Riiiight.

    • georgelabour

      They never said he was very good at it. Just that’s how he is.

      Kind of like a lawyer who only does clerical work. But with plagues.

    • Can we at least wait for the Fall of the Death Guard novel or the FW book on these things before getting our panties twisted?

      I mean, yes, I’d agree that Mortarion hasn’t been the most patient dude. He *knew* that the Emperor was planning to abolish psykers before long and move to a Webway-only travel plan. And yet he threw in his lot with Horus because things didn’t go fast enough after Nikaea. But that was over 10,000 years ago. Probably far longer considering how he’s a daemon now and got banished a few times. Plenty of time to come to terms with having to wait it out when you’re banished back to the warp..

      • Drpx

        They could always turn out to be Alpha Legion pulling a Scooby Doo hoax.

        • Darth Bumbles


          *whispers* Broadsword to Danny-Boy. Boradsword to Danny-Boy …. the chicken has fled the roost*whisper*

          FLAGRANT LIES.
          There’s no way the Alpha Legion would impersonate a Primarch just to make them look competent.

          • KingAceNumber1

            I am Alpharius and what is this

      • AEZ

        I guess getting banished (and the process of dying that starts is) might not be pleasant and after a few times he’s decided it’s NOT going to happen again (queue Guilliman… sure to win since if HE dies he’s gone and Morty is coming back anyway).

    • KingAceNumber1

      To be fair, warp time is entirely different. The DG were stuck adrift in the warp and rotting alive for a looooooooooooong time, so it’s not like 3 hours in Mortarion gave up. In realspace it seemed like a few months, but to them it was much, much longer. Long enough for their armor to meld to them, for them to mutate and gain nurgle power, etc.

  • Kevin Maloney

    The biggest new plot twist to 40k is Phil Kelly’s beard.

  • Arthfael

    What I want to know is who decided Sythrac had to die in Gathering Storm. IIRC he was Kelly’s name for his own archon he then introduced into the lore. I was surprised they killed him.

    • georgelabour

      Maybe Phil Kelly tried to GM a game of D&D with the new CEO and ended up killing off his elf bard?

    • Ceekh

      Because Kheradruakh needed his last skull ! And that’s actually pretty darn amazing. If I get it right, Vect has fled Commoragh to settle else where in the Webway, and now there’s only Rakarth and Kheradruakh in charge of the Dark City, and this alliance sounds really cool ! I can’t wait to see what will come out of it ^^

  • Kevin Maloney

    The biggest plot development by far is Phil Kelly’s beard.



  • Crevab

    Are you guys going to add the Jervis/Cruddace interview and highlights to every Vox Cast article?

    • They will. That’s how BOLS does things.

      • Diagoras

        Do you guys ever wonder why we come here? There are better 40k news sources.

        Are we here for the community?

        Am I, at this point, here solely for Pimpcron?

        • euansmith

          It is only fair, as Pimpcron is always here for you. 😉

        • Since I’m not a fan of Pimpcron, I do wonder indeed why I’m here. :p

  • euansmith

    Spoiler Alert! Andy’s T-shirt confirms rumours (from an INDUSTRY INSIDER) that the 40k Universe is to merge with the Star Wars Universe.

  • euansmith

    Looking up the list of GW authors on-line, it became clear that Rick Priestly and Dan Abnet are actually the same guy pulling down double wages – or one of them is Alpharius.


    • KingAceNumber1

      According to your picture you also shave your head… maybe all 3 of you are Alpharius.

      • euansmith


    • Muninwing

      i do really miss Rick Priestly and his effect on the creative team. and i miss GW novels all being of comparable quality to Dan Abnett’s material.

      • Red_Five_Standing_By

        Rick is doing good work over with Antares.

        • euansmith

          Indeed 😀 It must be annoying to be working for a company that insists you stick with an old design (40k) rather than letting you come up with something new.

  • kingcobra668

    “Design was designed…”


  • Last time i saw phil kelly was at games day in like 2010 and he looked 12.

    He has aged considerably lol.

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      6th edition was rough man. Really rough. Like a President’s tenure rough.

  • piglette

    What’s Fulgrim up to?

    • dante13

      Taking over planets last i read.

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      Doing snakey stuff. Warming himself in the sun, shedding skin, eating people whole. You know, standard stuff.

  • Thomas

    Shame to find out that Phil Kelly is behind some of the awful new fluff. His 5th ed stuff was just god-tier (most of the time). Hopefully it’ll improve and get back to that level someday. I believe in The Kelly!