If you break a pledge to one faction to form a pledge with one of their allies, your alignment should not be penalized as much as it is. I don't think most of the factions in Middle-earth would have a big problem with you doing this. When Thorongil (Aragorn II) left the service of Rohan for Gondor, and then left Gondor, he was still held in high esteem by the peoples of those kingdoms.
I completely agree with this. Here's another example: Gandalf is traveling through the Lone-Lands, and pledges to the Dunedain so as to help them gain more influence on his travels. He eventually gets to the borders of Rivendell, and wants to help the Imladris Elves secure their borders, so switches his pledge to that of the High Elves. This can keep going on for a while, but yeah, factions that are friends and/or allies should have little to no penalty for breaking and re-pledging.
I totally agree. I think at the very least you should be able to partially swear into service with a faction that is allied to yours. Eg. I am a Lord of Gondor, sworn into Gondor’s service that wishes to support the Rangers, so I partially swear into service with the Rangers to help them fight Angmar and Gundabad while still officially being a Lord of Gondor and not of Arnor or whatever.
Another reasonable idea is dual-pledging within factions that are likely to encourage inter-factional pledging. For example I am someone who enters the service of the Woodland Realm, it seems reasonable that I should also be able to enter the service of Lothlórien and hold prestigious titles with both while simultaneously doing tasks for both factions. After all they both have the same enemy in the same neighbourhood.
I can suggest another dual-service; Dale and Erebor. We know almost certainly that Dale and Erebor collaborated with each other, and it seems reasonable that a Dwarf-hero of Erebor be able to enter the service of the King of Dale alongside the King under the Mountain to defeat the threat from the Easterlings, and vice versa.
Lastly one more example; High Elves and Rangers. It’s highly reasonable to assume that an Elf-lord in Elrond’s service would be able to enter service of the Rangers to help lead a join effort against Angmar in the north, and similarly a Captain of the Dúnedain would reasonable be able to enter Elrond’s service.
When looking at factional relations and pledges, it seems most reasonable to me that factions with common neighbour threats (Rivendell and Rangers, Angmar)(Dale and Erebor, Easterlings)(Lothlórien and Woodland Realm, Dol Guldur) etc. would allow for individuals to pledge service to both factions.
I think this pseudo pledge idea, or as I'll call them from now on 'Oaths', is great and here are a few things I think should be part of it.
1. When you must have at least 250 alignment with your main faction to make an oath to another faction. Basically you gotta show them that they're your one and only before they'll be ok with you swearing your service to other factions.
2. Once you swear an oath to a faction (must have +100 alignment, same as a pledge) you get 0.8x alignment gain instead of the generic 0.5x for unpledged gain above 100. It's not quite a pledge so they don't quite count it as much.
3. You can't swear an oath to a faction that's enemies with your pledged faction.
4. If you have at least 500 alightment with both your pledged faction and a faction you swore an oath to, then you can switch your pledge and oath factions for a reduced or null alignment penalty. So if you switch your pledge to a faction that is neutral to your faction you recieve a 100 alignment penalty, if you switch to a faction that is friends with your faction you recieve a 10 alignment penalty, and if you switch your pledge to an ally of your faction there is no alignment penalty.
5. There is a cool down, the same as after breaking a pledge, between switching oaths and pledged factions. So if you want to switch pledges to a neutral faction with mutual allies without losing alignment then you have to spend some time pledged to the mutual ally.
6. Breaking an oath, like breaking a pledge, sets you back to the minimum alignment required to swear the oath. Thus while breaking a pledge is so shunned that they set you back to 100 alignment breaking an oath isn't as bad and only sets you back to 250 alignment.