The chart at right should look familiar to old-school gamers. It's the metric by which we have gauged character behavior for years (until 4th Edition, but that's beside the point). As I was dreaming up the house rules that would define the setting I am using further (the originator of the setting, which is Antediluvia, dreamed up several things which I've posted and am using currently), I decided that in order to get a real sword & sorcery or sword & planet feel, I needed to abolish alignment. Of course, this does have an effect on the game - not as much as in 3.X, but it does have one. For instance, what do you do when an alignment-based spell is cast? Well, in the case of something that detects evil, evil is defined morally for most of us from an early age. Sure, someone will try to make the case that evil is "subjective," but that's a bunch of hogwash as far as I'm concerned. The priest about to sacrifice someone in the evil temple? Yeah, that's evil. How about the goblin about to do 1d8 points of damage to your face? Evil also. So it can be done rather easily in many situations.
Instead of alignment, I have decided to have players choose 3 adjectives that describe the personality of their character best. At the simplest level that means defining your character in 3 words. I am also going to encourage them to pick at least one positive and one negative word - those being subjective to the viewpoint of the player, surely. Every one of us has different facets to our personality. If I was labeling myself, I might use "jovial" as a positive, "procrastinator" as a negative, and for an extra, "intense." That's just how I see it. This will allow players to worry less about the game mechanic of alignment dictating their character's behavior and facilitate the development of the character a bit more. Think about it - Conan was honorable in many situations, yet there are numerous stories where he killed and thieved the whole way through. Sword & sorcery characters should operate more in that gray area for which they are famous. It also will not be random, since I want players to use their imaginations. No d30 tables will appear on this blog for this rule, mark my words!