Another thing I have noticed is that a lot of players tend not to act their alignments. The most often situation that I have noticed is when a player begins, essentially, playing himself as the character and ends up acting contrary to his alignment (one of many arguments that has been used by many for elimination of alignment altogether). Another problem is when players don't actually know the system well and really want to be in character, but just don't understand what they are doing (in which case, I would personally suggest changing their alignment to one that matches better rather than changing their playing style).
So what rules to you guys have for alignments in your games? In what ways do your players (or DMs/GMs) annoy you with regards to alignments? What other comments or observations or funny stories do you have?
In my games, I generally allow any alignment, as long as it is played out properly, and as long as I don't think it will cause a serious problem with the game. I do often ask players to consider certain alignments, but that is generally a personal preference, because damn it, I actually like heroic games. Unfortunately, though, my players very often prefer the selfish, opportunistic, anarchistic, fuck-the-world kind of characters. I find it annoying, but not unworkable. and honestly, sometimes, one can really have a lot of fun like that.
When dealing with selfish characters (especially chaotic neutral types), the best way for me to deal with them is, first of all, to make sure to give them the kind of motivation they want. I have to find out what they are looking for so that I can have a better idea how to draw them into my campaign plans. of course it helps a lot that I try to craft my campaign plans around my players' characters. secondly, I don't cut them slack for it (at least not a lot of it), if they manage to piss people off, they deal with the consequences. they wanted to play that way, and they have to deal with it. of course, they tend to enjoy that, too. It's kinda fun when they have nowhere to really turn to because even the good guys don't like them much. hehe. They play off of it really well, though.
I'm running a couple games with them right now, one of which is basically an evil, empire-building game, where they have started out at the very beginning and are literally trying to build themselves up to become the evil masterminds that normal heroic characters would rise up against. It has been interesting, too, because at one point, they were faced with having to manage a situation where they took control of an operation that they couldn't personally handle, and as they were debating with each other about how to deal with the situation, they eventually came to the realization that they had to either give up this potentially very profitable operation, or slaughter everyone involved. I was actually surprised that they let their characters be evil enough to do the latter, because that really was their role-playing intention. So while I was disgusted by the act, I had to admit that they were sticking well to their characters, and it pleased me that they, as players, realized what was going on and actually felt bad about what these characters were doing. They are well on their way to becoming some of the main bad guys in my campaign world that their own future characters will probably have to face.
Of course, I still don't like the game much, because I prefer heroic games, but it was an interesting change of pace, and we don't play it often, either. but I do keep it around because I like to give my players what they want (in the sense of making it a good game for them).