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Just want to say that I do not hate the existence of Alignment itself, spells and creatures based on alignment, and all that. I'm the first that like hardcore alignment on outsiders, I loved Planescape after all.But, sadly, is NOT true that alignment is only a way to help define character motivations and that it not define your actions. Why? Alignment restrictions. If I lose like 80% class power because the DM interpretation of some action says that is contrary to my alignment, then is hard to negate that it is a straightjacket.
Alignment restrictions on not divine characters need to go, and I have hopes that the ones on Monk are gone. Things like "drunken masters need to be lawful" have zero sense. I would love to have alignment restrictions disappear from divine classes too, but there they can have some sense.
I've seen some rather interesting discussions on the paradigm of law versus chaos (and what law versus chaos should even mean), the recent explorations of what a CG code of conduct would look like, I remember one intriguing take on the Incredibles (Bob as NG, Helen as LG, both in terms of their strengths and flaws), and I still value my copy of the 3.0 Manual of the Planes. Even if I don't agree with the concept of the spectra of behavior being parsed out into 9 general boxes and those results being knowable to mortal mind, it's not like alignment as a concept is harmful or toxic.
As long as there's no agenda. But when I need to be able to continue taking levels in Monk, that requires being lawful, and therefore I need to all observers to agree the character is still lawful no matter what, then it's crossed the line.
Alignment is a lot like riddles, actually.
The comments on this webcomic page delved into the nature of riddles and how difficult it can be to successfully use them in an RPG. Namely, that riddles more often than not have multiple correct answers that can be intuitively arrived at, and the trick is knowing/guessing/licking into the specific correct answer the riddle-giver was looking for. Fun enough if you're into that sort of thing and the riddle is little more than an exploration into different ways to view the world with nothing at stake if you guess the wrong-but-still-intuitively-correct answer.
Now consider the Riddler and his deadly stakes and why everyone in Gotham prefers it when he's locked away in Arkham. Running afoul of alignment restrictions and thereby being forced to express your character in a manner you had no intention of is practically the same thing.