The Alignment Cube (3.5e Variant Rule)
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The Alignment Cube
I think that there should be an idea of moral alignment more closely tied to psychology, and less restrictive and arbitrary than the D&D alignments. The alignment cube is my attempt at this vision.
The cube is 6 units by 6 units by 6 units, starting at one and going to 6. The X axis is labeled from evil to good and is more or less self explanatory, but the order is very, very important(going from 1-extreme evil to 6-extreme good). The Y axis is labeled from anarchy to hierarchy, representing the character's willingness to ignore legal channels in situations that call for it, and how loose their criterion for situations that call for it are. Once again, the order is exceptionally important, and must go from 1-extreme anarchy to 6-extreme hierarchy. The final axis, the Z axis, is labeled from resolution to cowardice, representing the characters determination to uphold such values as previously stated. I also use this number, minus 3, as a bonus to the character's will save in my games. Also, a character with a 5 or 6 on this axis cannot electively fail a will save.
No you have three scores that describe the range of actions that the character is likely to take. To determine the space on the alignment cube that this occupies, use a diagram of a cube and mark each whole point on the cube's axes. Draw lines betweeen them, and viola! An alignment that allows leeway for lapses of a character's judgement and makes a clearer distinction between spectrums of moral alignment.
Now, spells that affect lawful or chaotic characters or good or evil characters must be accounted for. There are two ways that I we are be able to do this. First, simply using a number >2 as an indicator of evil or anarchic alignments, 3 and 4 as neutral alignments, and 5 and six as good or hierarchic alignments works satisfactorily. BUT, if we want to account for the characters moral frailty and willingness to change in order to survive in the face of a harmful spell, the character can make a wisdom check DC12 +1 per point of resolution to shift his alignment 2 points and reduce the spells effect. After doing this, the player suffers a -2 to will saves for 1 day.