The continuing saga of a wannabe GM who can't get a game started ...
Law and Chaos might have no relevance in some campaigns. DMs may decide to forego alignments completely, or create an alternate system. A new system should include a Neutral or Unaligned option, and at least one active alignment.
Monopolar alignments contrast with Unaligned, but have no true opposite. Spells detect merely its presence or absence. Examples in gaming include Shadow from Midnight and Chaos from Warhammer. One could also make this force positive, like Gnosis, a knowledge
Updated 04-29-2012 at 10:13 PM by fmitchell
In Moorcock's writing the Cosmic Balance is a force unto itself, albeit less forceful than Chaos or Law. Agents of the Balance battle Chaos's attempts to dominate worlds. (Law, apparently, is too lawful to violate the Balance, which doesn't ring true to me.) AD&D had a similar concept in True Neutral, a notably tenet of Druids. Unlike regular neutrals, who for the most part don't care about things that don't affect them, True Neutrals are neutrality extremists, intent on correcting any tilt
D&D 4th Edition assumes that the most important distinctions are between Good and Evil, for some definition of Good and Evil. What if we consider Law and Chaos as primary? Three of our alignments then become Lawful, Unaligned, and Chaos.
Lawful Good and Chaotic Evil could round out the set ... but really, people follow the Law always think of themselves as doing so for the Greater Good, and there's little difference between capricious and malevolent. Let's try something interesting.
Updated 04-29-2012 at 10:14 PM by fmitchell
D&D's various alignment systems provoke a lot of discussion, partly because they have multiple interpretations and multiple purposes. To quickly review changes across editions:
Original D&D and Basic D&D had only three alignments: Law, Neutrality, and Chaos. (One version of Basic, I forget which, added "Good" and "Evil". Not Lawful Good or Chaotic Good, just "Good".) Essentially it represented which "side" a character was on
"What is that THING you're using as an avatar now?"
It's one of these: