Start out with this base for all alignments:
- Friendly reaction from like-aligned beings (allies);
- Recognize allies on sight (perhaps limited by Wisdom;)
- Able to use allied artifacts and invoke the powers of allied locations;
- Acquire taint equal to level;
- Take damage equal to taint from artifacts or locations aligned differently.
Artifacts withhold some or all of their powers from those not aligned the same way, and cause damage to those of a different alignment (but not neutral/unaligned.) "Sacred" locations also cause damage to the differently aligned and have a power they bestow on the like-alligned; this may be the same for all locales of a given alignment (healing for Lawful places,) or selected from a small list of powers, or random for each invocation (for Chaotic places.)
In addition to the five general properties above, each alignment will have three powers and two drawbacks unique to that alignment. One power is gained immediately; the next power and the first drawback is gained at 4th level; the third power and second drawback is gained at 7th level. If a character changes alignment at 4th level or higher, the 4th level power and drawback are gained with the next level. Similarly, changing alignment at 7th level or higher delays the 7th level power/drawback until the character has gained two levels.
Here's a power/drawback list for a customized Chaos alignment:
- 1st level: random spell of 1st or 2nd level 1/day
- 4th level: Dispel Magic 1/day, blocked by Protection/Evil
- 7th level: Polymorph Self 1/day, "turned" (paralyzed) by Lawful clerics
Here's one for Law:
- 1st level: Protection/Evil 1/day
- 4th level: Bless, blocked by Protection
- 7th level: Dispel Evil 1/day, alignment is obvious (and Chaos is hostile automatically)
I'm considering working up two very non-standard alignment systems that would break the dualist, dual-axis format that's become such a cliché. One would be a five-alignment system based around the four elements + Chaos (no "good" alignment.) The other would be an eight-fold system based around the seven deadly sins + Law. More on those at some later point, however.