Warhammer 40,000: Wrath & Glory, Vow of Absolution

Chris Colston is the lead developer on Wrath & Glory: Vow of Absolution, a Space Marine sourcebook with reams of lore, an armoury of devastating weapons, and a plethora of new archetypes to empower your next action-packed game of Wrath & Glory! Read on for some insights into Chris’s take on the Imperium’s most iconic warriors.

What did you set out to achieve with Vow of Absolution?

Our main goal with Vow of Absolution was to expand and develop the role of Space Marine players at the tabletop while bringing a long-standing Chapter to life. We wanted to create a rich and detailed history that expanded on the limited information of the Absolvers already in Imperial records. We also wanted to explore the secretive nature of the Absolvers and their history while also further enriching the Gilead System itself as a setting. I hope we’ve achieved that while putting the players' experience front and centre, giving them the knowledge and the tools they need to bring one of the Emperor's most stalwart warriors to life at the tabletop.

What sets Vow of Absolution apart from other Wrath & Glory books?

Vow of Absolution is a dedicated deep-dive sourcebook. Like previous Wrath & Glory releases, it expands the game’s mechanics and gives players and GMs new options, explores a little more of the Gilead System, and discusses some unfolding events within the system. However, Vow of Absolution does all of this with a real focus on the history and secrets of the Absolvers specifically, exploring one group of the setting's most iconic warriors. It also packs in advice and suggestions on how to incorporate these stalwart defenders of the Imperium into your games.

Tell us about the Absolvers. Who are they, and what’s their place in Wrath & Glory?

To most, they are honourable and venerated Space Marines who maintain a rigid adherence to the Codex Astartes. They’re looked upon with awe and reverence by the Imperial citizens of the Gilead System, a shining light of the Imperium amidst the darkness of the rift.  

To those who have seen them in battle, who know something of their history, the Absolvers are the frenzied and bloodthirsty butchers of Yellem. They’re brutal and unyielding, looked upon with fear and spoken of in hushed tones by the same terrified populace they are oath-bound to protect. 

What was it like exploring the history and traditions of the Chapter?

The Absolvers were first listed in Chapter Approved 2001. Since then, there have been a few subtle hints at where the origins of the Chapter lay. In more recent Wrath & Glory releases we had hinted more strongly at these as we built up to information contained within Vow of Absolution

Our aim was to honour the details already established regarding the Chapter while crafting a unique and detailed history, giving more meaning and reason to some of these past events and giving players ways to integrate these new details into their games.

On a personal level, working on Vow of Absolution was rad, because I think every Warhammer fan has at some point wanted to write cool lore about Space Marines. (Even if that lore is about them being massacred by warp entities, if you’re some sort of heretic!)

What’s it like playing a Space Marine in Wrath & Glory?

The fast-paced, action-packed nature of Wrath & Glory provides Space Marines with plenty of opportunity to do what Space Marines do best! However, bringing a power armour-clad, genetically enhanced, transhuman warrior to the tabletop can present a unique set of challenges! Space Marines are formidable warriors, but we wanted to present players and GMs with options to allow Space Marines to provide a fulfilling tabletop experience both on and beyond the battlefield. Vow of Absolution contains a wealth of new Talents and pages of advice to help players and GMs achieve that.

Tier 5 - tell us a bit more about that

Tier 5 is very much a natural progression for Wrath & Glory, we want to ensure that players are able to take on the role of the powerful Astartes veterans, who, by indomitable spirit and righteous Bolter, shape the very fate of the Gilead System, perhaps even that of the wider galaxy. Tier 5 also ensures that GMs have the necessary tools to expand and grow their games while being able to fully introduce and utilise the wealth of additional content in Vow of Absolution.

What’s your favourite part of Vow of Absolution?

The return of a figure central to the Absolvers reveals both past secrets and more concerning current matters. Events that advance the Gilead System setting bring new tensions to the already fragile alliances that hold the system together. Who this figure is was hinted at in the intercepted transmission published previously. 

Why would you recommend someone purchase this game, what will it bring to their table compared to other games? 

If you’re looking to bring some of the Imperium's most iconic warriors to your game, utilise devastating weapons of war, introduce a new Tier of play, or simply want to rain down righteous Bolter fire on heretic filth with a fast-paced, action-driven game system, then Wrath & Glory and Vow of Absolution are the tomes for you.

Outro and sign-off

Thanks Chris! Well, there you have it — Vow of Absolution is a must-have for players and GMs. Whether you wish to swear a solemn vow and purge the Gilead System of its enemies or rise through the grueling process of ascension in the ranks of the Absolvers. Vow of Absolution is the sourcebook to bring these adventures to your tabletop!