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I got into a discussion about how alignment works in Pathfinder 2e (and in many other games as well). It started off trying to figure out if a Rage Totem Barbarian could have a lawful alignment but quickly turned into a larger discussion about how alignment works as a mechanic. This is going to be a bit of a lengthy post, but anything marked example can pretty safely be skipped. Also, I'm going to touch on some real world philosophies. These are quickly thrown together representations of complex matters, so I don't mean to deride or make any form of statement about the things I am talking about.
The main thrust of a very long conversation was that alignment felt very restrictive to Paladins, very unclear when classes had some mechanics with implications of morality, and also has been slowly decreasing in importance through the years across multiple different games. Basically, it seems that the alignment system could be made into something more interesting with some tweaks. This would require work, but I personally do not believe it is an unreasonable amount of work to ask of the writers of Pathfinder.
Put simply, I believe that the 2 axis C/L-N-G/E could almost completely be scrapped. Instead, players could choose an alignment from a list that would be similar to the already provided lists of deity information. Alignments could be based on Religion, Culture, or Philosophy and would include a few core tenants, a few anathema examples, some tags, and potentially some examples of other alignments across all 3 types that the alignment agrees or disagrees with.
Example (Defining Alignments): The general format for all alignments would be similar to the religious god information given on page 288 of the playtest core rule book. Tags could be added if needed (like has been done with skills) in order for mechanics that used to rely on interactions by alignment to function. Players would have to choose one primary alignment as part of the character creation process, which could even be influenced (either by mechanics or suggestion alone) by the character's race, class, or background. Players choose the alignment MOST representative of how they act.
Example (Holy Casters): Paladins would have to be devoted to the alignment of their deity (and likely clerics too; while this may limit their choices at least they can choose a god that isn't lawful good). Paladins would only be able to select from the gods who are willing to take followers and would still be able to use the Code of Conduct feature almost exactly as written (without the restriction of being Lawful Good). The Paladin's Oath could probably be removed and be replaced by having a harsher Code of Conduct based on the god being worshiped. Clerics would have the normal guidelines of their god's alignment and anathema but would not have the harsher restrictions placed on them by the Code of Conduct of the Paladin.
Example (Religious Alignments): Basically use what is already in the book on page 288 with a few more tags or other information added.
Example (Cultural Alignments): These are broad, brush stroke values held by a society. These could be based on races, cities, socio-economic class, or regions. As an example, here is one for Dwarf Craftsmen.
Dwarf Craftsmen (industry, money, fairness, competition, self-improvement) Dwarven craftsmen value friendly competition. They are quicker to form rivalries than most but use competition instead of conflict in order to prove their superiority. They also tend to dislike the frivolous spending of money except when they are working on one of their lavish products. They always seek to improve their craft and themselves so that they can stand out.
-Anathema: Cheating in a contest of skills, turning down a challenge based on the quality of a crafted item, buying inferior materials for a crafting project
Example (Philosophical Alignment): These are values determined by a specific philosophy or outlook on life that DOES NOT stem from the observance of religious authority. Alignments in this category could include Anarchist, Ascetic, Pacifist, and Humanist (Species-ist?). Below I've included an example of a Humanist alignment.
Humanist (logic, education, altruism, secular, free will) People who are humanist believe in the inherent worth of a person while also holding standards for logical thoughts over religious fervor. They believe in education as a method of elevation and work to help others as a matter of principle.
-Anathema: Control a sentient creature, act off of oracles, engage in prejudiced behavior.
Example (Devotion): Each alignment could also possibly have a devotion level attached to it. Having the Absalom Baron alignment wouldn't require a giant amount of devotion while Asceticism would. For religious groups, followers of a god like Pan wouldn't need to be near as devoted as followers of Zeus. This could have an effect on what happens if an anathema action is taken and would be potentially a basis to hand out hero points.
These are my thoughts. It would add some complexity, but I believe the added complexity would be able to better enable role-playing in the universe of Pathfinder. It would also allow Paladins some more flexibility and could turn an incredibly limited system into a (slightly) more representative one. I would love to discuss ideas, criticisms, or ideas for what these alignments may be. I have some ideas for how these alignments may be handled by Paizo and how a Fallen Paladin could become really fun as well as how the mechanics that rely on the current alignment system could be re-worked. This post is long enough already however.