Crunch of the Day: Channel Divinity
The above example of the Invoker’s Rebuke Undead power is a fantastic example of the “Channel Divinity” series of powers. Divine classes often get divinity powers as part of their core package, and a number of them are available via feats connecting divine characters with their deity. In essence, they’re a way of converting and broadening the old ‘Turn Undead’ power that Clerics got in 3.5 and previous editions. Turn Undead, indeed, is a Channel Divinity power that Clerics have in 4E.
What makes these powers really interesting to me, and enjoyable, is how they took a mechanic that nobody was really happy with and made it awesome. The Undead-specific abilities require an enemy type that you were never guaranteed to face in a campaign. The rules for turning undead were also usually pretty arcane; even in 3.5, which arguably made them more approachable than ever before.
In 4E, divinity powers concretize the connection between a character and her deity. Each god has their own specialized divinity power, and the re-introduction of domains to the game in Divine Power added a host of additional divinity options. These powers are all appropriately ‘themed’, of course; Bahamut’s divinity power acts as a sort of divine armor. That mechanically expresses a holy connection players previously could only express through roleplaying.
For making something boring and confusing fun and awesome, as well as giving divine characters something new to lord over everybody else, Channel Divinity powers get the nod for Crunch of the Day.