How Dark is the Milk: Cereal Alignment
With the advent of our new topics, I feel inspired to write about the one I share with the Technocracy (or Alex, if you’re into that whole “birth certificate” deal). As he and I will both delve into the area of tabletop gaming — ranging from RPGs, cards, and your standard board game — I believe it fair to immerse myself into the world of oddly numbered dice and cards sans-suits.
But tabletop gaming isn’t the most accessible niche. While there are some easier ins — a topic for another day — we really need a topic that would help bridge those whose relation to dice has only been rolling doubles to get out of jail. In this instance, we’re going to discuss one of the tried-and-true segments from the godfather of using Euclidean dice for fun: the alignment system.
Just throwing you into the nine cordoned off alignments would be ill-advised. You need to understand that you can’t just jump from one to the other, that there are rules to gaming free will. We need something you can relate to. We need a language that speaks to a wide berth of people.
We need cereal.
Those of you with the incredulous looks on the other side of the internet, hear me out. Most of us have enjoyed a bowl or million in our lifetime. We’re raised on boxes of it wading in ponds of milk. Also, it just so happens that Food/Drink is one of my few topics. Now THAT’S convenience.
I will do my best to justify each choice. You may disagree, and that’s okay, because that’s pretty much all the internet is these days. “But Ian,” you pause. “Isn’t the internet for porn?” And doesn’t that prove my point?
Let’s pour you a bowl of good and evil.
When it comes to being Lawful Good, here’s what you need to know: you are pretty much the standard for stand-up citizens. You don’t bend by temptation, break the rules, or really change for anything or anyone as long as what you’re doing is great and grand.
And that’s why we have the paladin of cereals in Oh’s. The wonderful honey graham taste perfects most mornings, but the case for its lawful stature is solid, literally; Oh’s are one of an increasingly smaller number of cereals that refuses to get soggy. No matter the amount of milk attempting to drown these delicious letters, they hold firm. That’s a flag all cereals should learn to fly.
Neutral Good: Frosted Flakes
Neutral Good offers the chance to do the right thing without the restrictions of being Lawful. While not really free to do nearly anything they want, those under the umbrella of Neutral Good sit on the positive side of the spectrum without really ruffling feathers. Bland to some but wonderful to others, this is essentially the NG motto.
So what better fit than Frosted Flakes? Seemingly the idea of taking Corn Flakes and making them worthwhile, this cereal offers the guise of being healthy underneath piles of sugar. Try to tell me that cardboard transformed into a delicious part of your balanced breakfast isn’t worth the distinction of being good.
Chaotic Good: Lucky Charms
Chaotic Good throws caution to the wind as long as doing the right thing is still paramount. Some people prefer the guidelines of being Lawful, and others still enjoy the lack of pressure with Neutrality. For all others, there’s the wild card of Chaos.
Lucky Charms fit perfectly into this amorphous role. You get the hearts AND the rainbows. The different marshmallows help exemplify the Chaotic nature, but the often-tasty cereal proper provides the light side of the cereal spectrum. Besides, what’s more chaotic than a leprechaun? They’re as unpredictable as they are minuscule.
Lawful Neutral: Honey Nut Cheerios
Take away the necessity of altruism while keeping the reliability, and that’s Lawful Neutral. While always sticking to whatever set of rules set before them, those who go LN have no ties to the right or wrong. While they’re unlikely to go out of their way to help an old lady cross the street or flay her alive with a smoldering cat o’ nine tails, they have the chance to straddle that line.
Enter: Honey Nut Cheerios. They don’t offer offense, but they’re not great enough to truly lean one way or another. You always know what you’re getting with a bowl of these not-so-bad boys: lower cholesterol, decent and available cereal, and a lingering aftertaste and strange burps.
True Neutral: Rice Krispies
Bland. That’s the go-to True Neutral feeling. Some may see this alignment as a blank canvas ready for any angle, but I see it as a lack of commitment. That’s right — this alignment is like your last five boyfriends. It got personal.
Bland. That’s the go-to Rice Krispies feeling. Some may see this cereal as a blank canvas ready for any fruit or supplement, but I see it as a lack of flavor. That’s right — this alignment is like your wardrobe. DOUBLE BURN.
Chaotic Neutral: Fruity Pebbles
I know I’ve used the term “wild card” already, but I believe that Chaotic Neutral really fits that mold, or lack thereof. With no bounds in term of light and dark and no rules to claim as their own, the Chaotic Neutral can freely do pretty much anything they want within reason. Again, as long as they don’t go above and beyond in terms of good and evil, you can’t fault their actions.
Fruity Pebbles, in essences, are Rice Krispies with no expectations. The vibrant colors, insanity of Barney Rubble, and leftover milk all showcase a cereal with nothing to lose. You’ll likely see anyone eating Fruity Pebbles as Chaotic while they flail about in attempts to finish their bowl before the cereal goes soggy: ETA, 13 seconds.
Lawful Evil: Cap’n Crunch
The fun of being bad combined with the wet blanket of rules. A man of Lawful Evil nature will wrong you, but he’ll do it in an organized way. Less likely to steal your wallet and more adept at suing you for your entire estate, this is the devil in a classy suit.
Cap’n Crunch fits well here. Those who wonder why have never touched a bowl of it. While the taste is wonderful and consistent, it’s merely a front for the darkness delved in milk. Cap’n Crunch has the most potential to decimate the inside of your mouth with every bite. It may seem valuable to buy a box, but you better be willing to pay the price of not going soft.
Neutral Evil: Corn Pops
Baddies on a fence: that’s Neutral Evil. You’re going to get wrongdoing, but it’s going to be the porridge of malice. Being the overlap of Law and Chaos gives some excitement, but the qualifier of “Neutral” does nothing to offer excitement.
Hey, Corn Pops! Gross! Yet, bowls of these seemed to be a necessary evil when I was younger. Even recently, I was given a free box of the stuff. Instead of spending money, I poured myself some Pops, knowing full well that I was going to hate every moment of it. Maybe that’s the genius of being Neutral Evil: if you’re going to deal with the darkness, you might as well deal with the lesser of three evils.
Chaotic Evil: Grape-Nuts
Stay away from Chaotic Evil characters. The only thing you can be sure about with them is that they will ruin your day, but you’ll never know how until it happens. The Joker of wild cards — that’s both the playing deck card and the clown prince of crime — is maliciously magnificent in its unpredictability.
Ah, Grape Nuts. There are no grapes to sweeten this cereal. There are no nuts to offer taste. It was created as a science experiment. Any child worth his or her salt would traipse through the cereal aisle to grab their favorite box, only to turn around and discover the parent grabbing a box of this. Screams of horror could be heard all the way in frozen foods. All that poor kid knew was that one morning, a day unknown, would meet him with a bowl of this at the kitchen table.
Didn’t know that cereal could be evil, did you? Many things in life could be attached to the classic D&D alignment scale, but cereal is a standard in our culture. Just be careful the next time you drown some in milk. Make sure they don’t try to take you down with them.
Heh. That can’t happen.