Scales of Morality
It's OK, as you can see in the thread, I told him I was going to steal it.
I actually think that this is a good basis for a morality system, a system that makes sense for a specific character. There are a number of scales that a character can use to gauge their outlook on the world, and if I were going to use it as a character development tool, I'd have players choose two or three of these scales to show what their character values most about themselves, or what they fear they could become.
The simple options offered have a virtue in the middle, while characters who tend toward the extremes of the scale veer toward the traditional sins. It's simple, and it sets a specific in game theme about moderation being a virtue. This could be a good thing or a bad thing, I guess that all depends on the type of theme a game is trying to portray.
The more complex options I find more interesting.
Peace-Justice-Violence amount of force used to solve problems Death-Humanity-Life one's value and view of life Naivety-Mercy-Vengeance how evil is dealt with Fear-Courage-Recklessness how one regards personal safety Blasphemy-Piety-Fanaticism how one feels toward religion Selfishness-Duty-Myrmidon loyalty and obedience of authority Deception-Honor-Arrogance one's code of conduct Manipulation-Honesty-Legalistic the importance placed on words Passion-Discipline-Coldness one's measure of self control and emotion Malice-Charity-Pity how one deals with the less fortunate Poverty-Contentment-Greed one's value of the material Abnegation-Chastity-Indulgence one's value of worldly pleasures
I find this far more interesting because the central term is "safe", while the outer terms could easily be considered virtuous by one person but abominable by someone else...and it's this interplay of morality within a person, and between people that makes the system far more interesting.
The combined axes of Lawful-Neutral-Chaotic and Good-Neutral-Evil of Dungeons and Dragons don't really do this, because they're applied to everyone and it's really used as a metagame mechanism to justify certain character actions rather than being used as a way to really define the characters interactions with the society around them in a truly meaningful way.
One character is lawaful, one character is chaotic. What to they each do when encountered by a poor person? What would they each do if given $1,000,000?
I guess that this sort of moral dilemma was never meant to be faced in a game about hacking monsters in dungeons. But it's certainly the type of thing I'd prefer to explore in a session of roleplaying.
There's more to it, than that of course. But I definitely think this concept deserves more exploration.