-From the Manuals of Anis Al-Farid, Explorer & Adventurer
It's early this Saturday morning (in Philadelphia) and we just missed a serious snow storm that hit mostly to the North. Good thing as I have a conference this weekend. I wanted to post some further information around how I have conceived of alignment in Sophia's Children before heading out!
Alignment is an immutable aspect of a person's Soul in Sophia's Children. It cannot be changed after selection at character creation (in-game, this is expressed as the essential characteristics of a person's Soul). One important caveat: a player-character may behave in whatever manner they please (so, too, for other beings within the universe of the game). Their alignment is a combination of Id and Super-ego -- inner, automatic thoughts; deep, base urges. A person who acts out of line with their alignment on a consistent basis chooses to suppress their inner urges. For examples: A Lawful Good Old-Guard Knight has taken on a life of plundering, but is constantly wracked by guilt and the knowledge that what she is doing is wrong. A Dominant Evil Bandit Prince has changed her ways and has become a Champion to the poor, but -- in the back of her mind -- the old urges to indulge her hedonistic appetites and to kill still call to her.
Anyway, the gameplay element to select alignment is through "The Confessor." This is a serious of questions that a player answers for their character to discover what their Alignment is. In-game this is visualized as the character visiting a Holy Person to confess their Sins.
I am developing what is essentially a series of ethical dilemmas that, whenever the selections are made all the way through, will confer a score that can be translated into an Alignment preference. The goal of the entire game system is a total reliance on simple pencil and paper, but I turn this test into an online quiz for ease of use as well.
Here is an example question:
The year before, a Man from the area had terrorized your family and neighbors by stealing from their residences. When he was finally caught by the Guard, he returned home after paying a fine. One evening you catch this Man in the act of vandalizing a neighbor's property. As you approach him, he breaks down sobbing and speaking to unseen voices -- you then notice the deep scars on the back of his skull and the temples of his forehead. Do you: 1) Shout for assistance from your neighbors as you have caught this criminal again, or 2) Quietly take the Man by the hand to the local Church into the care of the Priest there.