When faced with the myriad of possibilities for making a character for a D&D game I very rarely choose to play a â€˜divineâ€™ character. Even in previous editions clerics and paladins never really did it for me. Thereâ€™s something about that straight-up Judeo-Christian, lay-on-hands-smite-the-wicked shtick that seems a little overdone.
In fourth edition, theyâ€™ve tried to move away from that a little, but it is clear that at the heart of the cleric and paladin there is still that idea of the crusading Christian knight or the warrior priest. So out of all the â€˜powerâ€™ books I was least excited about Divine Power.
That said, each of the books in this series so far (Arcane Power and Martial Power), have each had at least one major addition to a class that drastically raises the excitement level for the book. For Martial Power it was the introduction of the beast master ranger and for Arcane Power it was rules for summoned monsters and familiars. Now for Divine Power the big hype is about domains.
For those of you just joining us on this edition, Domains were the central 3rd edition cleric mechanic. When you created a cleric you selected two domains associated with the god you served. This gave you two spells to choose from at each level, which occupied a special slot in your â€˜spells per dayâ€™ list. Of course, since things do not function this way at all in 4th ed. Domains do something that is only a little similar.
You acquire a domain through feats, each domain being represented by two feats. One, a Channel Divinity feat, (which keys off of an ability that all divine classes have) and one a standard feat. Looking through them, none of them are too impressive. Sure, some are very powerful and compliment certain builds very strongly, but they donâ€™t seem to bring that fresh new mechanical option that, I think, some of us were hoping for.
Aside from domain feats the book provides probably hundreds of new powers for clerics, paladins, avengers and invokers. Along with that, we get at least one new build option for each class. Also of note are a slew of new paragon paths and epic destinies, some of which seem appropriately epic, and some of which really sound like they should just be paragon paths.
The non-domain feats seem to focus mostly on class/race pairings. If youâ€™re a human invoker you get to do X, if youâ€™re a shifter cleric you get to do Y, etc. These feats I am torn about, since on one hand they create fairly unique effects tailored to a particular kind of character, but on the other hand force you to pick that class/race combo if you want to achieve the effect desired. The other issue with those feats is evident from the previous books in the series, for example there are no feats specifically for Deva warlords in martial power, because Devas hadnâ€™t been printed yet.
All and all, Divine Power provides a huge amount of new options. The book is definitely worth acquiring if youâ€™re a fan of divine classes or if youâ€™re looking for ways of branching your character out through multiclassing.
I give it 3 stars, solid, does it what it set out to do, but does not manage much beyond that.