Alignment is a tool, a convenient shorthand you can use to summarize the general attitude of an NPC, region, religion, organization, monster, or even magic item.
Alignment plays second fiddle to player agency. You don’t do something because you’re Lawful Neutral. You’re Lawful Neutral because you do something.
There are some caveats to that:
*Paladins and Clerics with their direct connections to the divine, are influenced subtly or directly by their connection and influence their decision making. This makes conscious choices going against their benefactor’s prescriptions dangerous.
*Spells and magic items with alignment descriptors, over-time, can alter alignments. Continual casting of evil spells won’t make you evil outright. But I will subtly hint it’s ongoing effects like how you are quicker to agitate. The converse is true too. Good items will make you doublethink selfish actions. So the choice is still yours and yours to make. It just doesn’t occur in a vacuum.
Any questions will be handled before we begin play and during.
Additionally, I subscribe to the philosophy that Good is hard.
I see the morality of an action having two components: MOTIVE (i.e. intention) and MEANS (i.e. acts).
In order for an action to be Good, both motive and means must be Good. If either motive or means is Evil, then the action is Evil. (Other combinations would be neutral).
When you cast a spell with an alignment descriptor, you are harnessing the supernatural/extraplanar forces of that very real force to do something. When you cast an [Evil] spell, you are invoking the Power of Evil. So, casting an [Evil] spell, even for a good reason, is still always an evil action, regardless of the motive.
The reverse is NOT true. Casting a [Good] spell could be a Good, Neutral, or Evil action, depending on the motive.
Good motive, Good means: Good action.
Good motive, Neutral means: Neutral action.
Good motive, Evil means: Evil action.
Neutral motive, Good means: Neutral action.
Neutral motive, Neutral means: Neutral action.
Neutral motive, Evil means: Evil action.
Evil motive, Good means: Evil action.
Evil motive, Neutral means: Evil action.
Evil motive, Evil means: Evil action.
Nine combinations. One is Good; three are Neutral; five are Evil.
So yeah. Good is hard but has it’s own set of rewards. Mercenaries don’t get statues.