Basically, the book serves to expand upon the choices you make when creating any divine character. In some cases, such as paladins and divine sanction, it adds new mechanics to the existing set, but without making it part of the core ruleset and "requiring" that you have the book in order to play the basic game.
The first chaper is for avengers. I've never played one, but that might change since Josh is going to run something this coming Monday. Their new feature is Censure of Unity, which gives you a damage bonus against your oath of enmity target for each adjacent ally. So, unlike the other censures, this one rewards you for ganging up on a single monster. Sounds like it would be great for handling elites and especially solos.
Bonds of censure is a ranged at-will that pulls a target towards you, and deals radiant damage if they end adjacent to you.
Leading strike is a weapon attack that grants an ally a damage bonus if you hit the target.
Cataclysmic duel is a level 29 prayer that deals 7[W] damage, and for the entire encounter if the target hits you an ally gets knocked prone, but if you hit it, then one of its allies becomes dazed (save ends). Bad idea for a solo battle, but the dazed condition could prove extremely devastating against a group battle.
Clerics can opt to swap out channel divinity: turn undead for channel divnity: healer's mercy, which lets allies within 5 squares burn a healing surge, but weakens you for a turn. Great if you want more healing and/or a better pacifist concept.
Astral seal is a Wis + 2 vs. Ref attack that deals no damage, but imposes a defense penalty and heals allies who hit the target before the end of your next turn.
Recovery strike is a Strength vs. AC weapon attack operates in a similar manner, but actually deals damage and restores fewer hit points.
I like realm of battle, which is a level 19 prayer that creatures a close burst 3 zone of angels. It deals radiant damage, in addition to granting allies an attack and AC bonus.
Revive is likewise pretty sweet: its a level 22 utility prayer that can restore a dying or dead ally up to bloodied hit points, as long as the ally died during the encounter that you use this in. Also, it removes the failed death saves, so that if she falls again, she gets a fresh start.
The invoker is a class I wasnt terribly interested in playing until I saw the chapter art: its looks really badass. I've since made a tiefling invoker, and its one of many characters on my list of shit to play when I have infinite time.
Covenant of Malediction lets you push targets with your encounter and daily powers, and also grants you channel divinity: maledictor's doom, which imposes an attack and saving throw penalty for one turn to enemies in the burst (you can also push them if you nail them with a fear effect).
Visions of blood just sounds awesome. It deals psychic damage and a defense penalty, but hits all creatures in the area-of-effect.
Paladins, par for the course, have gotten quite a bit of flak even in 4th Edition. People accuse them of being shitty defenders due to their very limited mark, as well as Multiple Ability Dependancy.
Divine sanction is basically divine challenge, except that it gets applied by using various powers and feats. You can do both, so it allows a paladin to mark more than one creature at a time (thus being a stickier defender).
There are two new class features that can be swapped out with lay on hands. Ardent vow lets you deal bonus damage to a monster and automatically apply divine sanction for the rest of the encounter each time you hit it. Virtue's touch lets you automatically remove a condition on an ally as a minor action. Both powers can be used a limited number of times each day, based on your Wisdom modifier.
Ardent strike will probably end up being incredibly popular. Its a Strength or Charisma at-will that deals damage and applies divine sanction. Good for any paladin build, easily allowing you to lock down two monsters instead of just one. Better yet? You can use it while charging.
With all of the classes wrapped up, that brings is to the last chapter: Divine Options. The chapter opens by reintroducing Divine Domains, a throwback to domains and spheres from past editions. Of course, 4E does them a bit differently. See, each deity has a list of domains, which represent their "spheres of influence" or portfolio. Each domain has two related feats: one of them gives you a new channel divinity power, while the other one alters how your at-will powers work. A simple-yet-excellent way to better represent your devotion, methinks.
After domains, there's a section on deities and conceptually how each divine class works with them. Good stuff for a character foundation, and it can translate into settings with either gods that share a similar mindset or function. There's also a list of new divine-themed backgrounds, such as Followed a Cult and Out for Revenge.
Breath of Life is a dragonborn-cleric feat that prevents your dragon breath from hitting allies, but grants allies in the area thp. Works well with the leader role.
Taunting Visage is a very cool changling/doppelganger feat: you can use change shape to assume the form of your oath of enmity target, you gain combat advantage until the end of your next turn. Kind of like getting your racial twice per encounter.
Radiant Vessel really lets you pile on the healage, granting another +2d6 hit points on healing word if you use it after using any cleric attack with the Radiant keyword.
Divine Health is an epic feat that grants you poison resistance and renders you immune to any disease of level 30 or less.
New Rituals adds eight rituals, including Create Holy Water (level 1). Holy water is categorized as an alchemical item, has a throwing range of 3/6, and deals 1d10 radiant damage to only undead and demons. Ease Spirit is pretty handy, as it reduces the death penalty by 1.
Mark of Justice debuts as a level 12 binding ritual that forbids specified behavior, or suffer from a 24-hour flexible penalty (specified by the ritual caster). Penalties can be that you have to roll again if you succeed on a check, gain vulnerable 10 all, or even become blinded and defeanded.
My personal favorite is Hallowed Temple, which creates a 15 square by 15 square temple that you and your allies can shack up in, is immune to damage, and undead and demons cannot enter.
The sidebars have been getting quite a bit of attention for containing a lot of really good story content. Here is every sidebar, and the page that it can be found on.
- Avenger Origins (pg 6)
- For the DM: Avengers in the Campaign (pg 140)
- Serving Multiple Masters (pg 16)
- Whom To Hunt? (pg 18)
- Dwarves Who Dont Worship Moradin (pg 36)
- Small Devotions (pg 39)
- Dead Gods (pg 40)
- Rise of the Raven Queen (pg 43)
- Crafting a Covenant (pg 60)
- Destined for Greatness (pg 63)
- Words of Creation (pg 64)
- Serving Evil Gods (pg 65)
- Invoker Origins (pg 66)
- The War of Winter (pg 67)
- Avandra and the First Doppelganger (pg 69)
- Divine Sanction (pg 82)
- The Divine Compromises (pg 92)
- For the DM: Evil Feats (pg 122)
- Rites for the Deities (pg 143)
- Avatars Have Many Uses (pg 145)
- Creating Avatars (pg 147)
- Trappings of Justice (pg 148)
- Divine Allies Bring Divine Enemies (pg 152)
- Dark Saints (pg 155)
That being said, Divine Power has shown me the light, and I think for the coming delve this week I'll give a tiefling avenger a shot. If you like divine characters (especially paladins), this is a must-have.