I was reading an article over at Dungeon Mastering, where the question of whether your character's actual alignment is how she acts or what she thinks she is. The author, Krystal, answers that it's how your character acts, and within the context of a normal game, I tend to agree. However, it got me thinking about D&D alignments in a new way.
Three Tier Alignment
The idea behind three tier alignment is that a character doesn't have a single solid alignment that the player can confidently point to. Alignment is a murky matter that a player has to think about when he or she acts in-game. The three tiers are as follows:
- Perceived by Self: The player decides this based on the character. This is only a representation of how the player thinks his or her character is acting, and is not the character's alignment for the purposes of spells and abilities.
- Perceived by Others: This is how NPCs think of the PC, as decided by the DM. This can be influenced by other NPCs or the PC's own actions, and the player should only be made aware of this alignment with a successful Gather Information (Diplomacy in Pathfinder) check to discover what people are thinking. This alignment informs how new NPCs see the PCs. Like first tier, this is not the PC's true alignment for spells and abilities.
- Actual: This alignment is decided by the DM based on the PC's actions, and is only magically discernible. For the purposes of spells and abilities, this is the alignment you use.
Has anyone used an alternate alignment system? How did it work out?