For years I played in games where the system required you to stick rigidly to a set of morals/guidelines determined by the alignment you chose to play. Unless someone was going a paladin of some sorts almost everyone in my groups started out as either neutral good or neutral evil in out AD&D games. Both of them fitted almost any character we would chose to play and could cover almost any action they might do as long as you stayed away from the extremes. In all those years I have also never found a decent mechanism within D&D to play alignment changes although Dragonlance came close but that was very specific to the setting.
In later years we moved on to Vampire:TM where your actions had an impact on your humanity stat. This was the closest we ever came to a system that mirrored real life in that you could in theory do anything you wanted to but for every bad action you had a chance that you would start to spiral down into the abyss and lose touch with everything that made you human. Again though this was very black and white.
I guess what I’m getting at is why should we be relying on mechanics to mimic something that is so complex in real life that very few folk understand it fully anyway. Without being a psychologist do we need the system dumbed down that much that we revert to using lists of sins to judge how far we’ve moved from our original alignment? Why can’t it be roleplayed out? If a player chooses to make that jump it’s going to have a different affect on them than on another player and it should be worked through with the GM. That’s all you need. The repercussions of an evil/good act can range from simple self loathing to something far worse but it should be specific to that that character and not drawn from a table ina rulebook.
These are just a few quick thoughts that I might expand on later once I get back into the swing of things. Hopefully November will be a busy month here at The Dice Bag.