Being Evil Overlord

You see, I have all the talents of being a really big, ultrapowerful evil overlord. But all evil dudes get defeated sooner or later. Every great guy failed due to some simple mistake…
But I know everything…

Being an Evil Overlord seems to be a good career choice. It pays well,
there are all sorts of perks and you can set your own hours. However
every Evil Overlord I’ve read about in books or seen in movies
invariably gets overthrown and destroyed in the end. I’ve noticed that
no matter whether they are barbarian lords, deranged wizards, mad
scientists or alien invaders, they always seem to make the same basic
mistakes every single time. With that in mind, allow me to present…

The Top 231 Things I’d Do
If I Ever Became An Evil Overlord

1. My Legions of Terror will have helmets with clear plexiglass
visors, not face-concealing ones.

2. My ventilation ducts will be too small to crawl through.

3. My noble half-brother whose throne I usurped will be killed, not
kept anonymously imprisoned in a forgotten cell of my dungeon.

4. Shooting is not too good for my enemies.

5. The artifact which is the source of my power will not be kept on
the Mountain of Despair beyond the River of Fire guarded by the
Dragons of Eternity. It will be in my safe-deposit box. The same
applies to the object which is my one weakness.

6. I will not gloat over my enemies’ predicament before killing them.
7. When I’ve captured my adversary and he says, “Look, before you
kill me, will you at least tell me what this is all about?” I’ll
say, “No.” and shoot him. No, on second thought I’ll shoot him
then say “No.”

8. After I kidnap the beautiful princess, we will be married
immediately in a quiet civil ceremony, not a lavish spectacle in
three weeks’ time during which the final phase of my plan will be
carried out.

9. I will not include a self-destruct mechanism unless absolutely
necessary. If it is necessary, it will not be a large red button
labelled “Danger: Do Not Push”. The big red button marked “Do Not
Push” will instead trigger a spray of bullets on anyone stupid
enough to disregard it. Similarly, the ON/OFF switch will not
clearly be labelled as such.

10. I will not interrogate my enemies in the inner sanctum — a small
hotel well outside my borders will work just as well.

11. I will be secure in my superiority. Therefore, I will feel no need
to prove it by leaving clues in the form of riddles or leaving my
weaker enemies alive to show they pose no threat.

12. One of my advisors will be an average five-year-old child. Any
flaws in my plan that he is able to spot will be corrected before

13. All slain enemies will be cremated, or at least have several
rounds of ammunition emptied into them, not left for dead at the
bottom of the cliff. The announcement of their deaths, as well as
any accompanying celebration, will be deferred until after the
aforementioned disposal.

14. The hero is not entitled to a last kiss, a last cigarette, or any
other form of last request.

15. I will never employ any device with a digital countdown. If I find
that such a device is absolutely unavoidable, I will set it to
activate when the counter reaches 117 and the hero is just putting
his plan into operation.

16. I will never utter the sentence “But before I kill you, there’s
just one thing I want to know.”

17. When I employ people as advisors, I will occasionally listen to
their advice.

18. I will not have a son. Although his laughably under-planned
attempt to usurp power would easily fail, it would provide a fatal
distraction at a crucial point in time.

19. I will not have a daughter. She would be as beautiful as she was
evil, but one look at the hero’s rugged countenance and she’d
betray her own father.

20. Despite its proven stress-relieving effect, I will not indulge in
maniacal laughter. When so occupied, it’s too easy to miss
unexpected developments that a more attentive individual could
adjust to accordingly.

21. I will hire a talented fashion designer to create original
uniforms for my Legions of Terror, as opposed to some cheap
knock-offs that make them look like Nazi stormtroopers, Roman
footsoldiers, or savage Mongol hordes. All were eventually
defeated and I want my troops to have a more positive mind-set.

22. No matter how tempted I am with the prospect of unlimited power, I
will not consume any energy field bigger than my head.

23. I will keep a special cache of low-tech weapons and train my
troops in their use. That way — even if the heroes manage to
neutralize my power generator and/or render the standard-issue
energy weapons useless — my troops will not be overrun by a
handful of savages armed with spears and rocks.

24. I will maintain a realistic assessment of my strengths and
weaknesses. Even though this takes some of the fun out of the job,
at least I will never utter the line “No, this cannot be! I AM
INVINCIBLE!!!” (After that, death is usually instantaneous.)

25. No matter how well it would perform, I will never construct any
sort of machinery which is completely indestructible except for
one small and virtually inaccessible vulnerable spot.

26. No matter how attractive certain members of the rebellion are,
there is probably someone just as attractive who is not desperate
to kill me. Therefore, I will think twice before ordering a
prisoner sent to my bedchamber.

27. I will never build only one of anything important. All important
systems will have redundant control panels and power supplies. For
the same reason I will always carry at least two fully loaded
weapons at all times.

28. My pet monster will be kept in a secure cage from which it cannot
escape and into which I could not accidentally stumble.

29. I will dress in bright and cheery colors, and so throw my enemies
into confusion.

30. All bumbling conjurers, clumsy squires, no-talent bards, and
cowardly thieves in the land will be preemptively put to death. My
foes will surely give up and abandon their quest if they have no
source of comic relief.

31. All naive, busty tavern wenches in my realm will be replaced with
surly, world-weary waitresses who will provide no unexpected
reinforcement and/or romantic subplot for the hero or his

32. I will not fly into a rage and kill a messenger who brings me bad
news just to illustrate how evil I really am. Good messengers are
hard to come by.

33. I won’t require high-ranking female members of my organization to
wear a stainless-steel bustier. Morale is better with a more
casual dress-code. Similarly, outfits made entirely from black
leather will be reserved for formal occasions.

34. I will not turn into a snake. It never helps.

35. I will not grow a goatee. In the old days they made you look
diabolic. Now they just make you look like a disaffected member of
Generation X.

36. I will not imprison members of the same party in the same cell
block, let alone the same cell. If they are important prisoners, I
will keep the only key to the cell door on my person instead of
handing out copies to every bottom-rung guard in the prison.

37. If my trusted lieutenant tells me my Legions of Terror are losing
a battle, I will believe him. After all, he’s my trusted

38. If an enemy I have just killed has a younger sibling or offspring
anywhere, I will find them and have them killed immediately,
instead of waiting for them to grow up harboring feelings of
vengeance towards me in my old age.

39. If I absolutely must ride into battle, I will certainly not ride
at the forefront of my Legions of Terror, nor will I seek out my
opposite number among his army.

40. I will be neither chivalrous nor sporting. If I have an
unstoppable superweapon, I will use it as early and as often as
possible instead of keeping it in reserve.

41. Once my power is secure, I will destroy all those pesky
time-travel devices.

42. When I capture the hero, I will make sure I also get his dog,
monkey, ferret, or whatever sickeningly cute little animal capable
of untying ropes and filching keys happens to follow him around.

43. I will maintain a healthy amount of skepticism when I capture the
beautiful rebel and she claims she is attracted to my power and
good looks and will gladly betray her companions if I just let her
in on my plans.

44. I will only employ bounty hunters who work for money. Those who
work for the pleasure of the hunt tend to do dumb things like even
the odds to give the other guy a sporting chance.

45. I will make sure I have a clear understanding of who is
responsible for what in my organization. For example, if my
general screws up I will not draw my weapon, point it at him, say
“And here is the price for failure,” then suddenly turn and kill
some random underling.

46. If an advisor says to me “My liege, he is but one man. What can
one man possibly do?”, I will reply “This.” and kill the advisor.

47. If I learn that a callow youth has begun a quest to destroy me, I
will slay him while he is still a callow youth instead of waiting
for him to mature.

48. I will treat any beast which I control through magic or technology
with respect and kindness. Thus if the control is ever broken, it
will not immediately come after me for revenge.

49. If I learn the whereabouts of the one artifact which can destroy
me, I will not send all my troops out to seize it. Instead I will
send them out to seize something else and quietly put a Want-Ad in
the local paper.

50. My main computers will have their own special operating system
that will be completely incompatible with standard IBM and
Macintosh powerbooks.

51. If one of my dungeon guards begins expressing concern over the
conditions in the beautiful princess’ cell, I will immediately
transfer him to a less people-oriented position.

52. I will hire a team of board-certified architects and surveyors to
examine my castle and inform me of any secret passages and
abandoned tunnels that I might not know about.

53. If the beautiful princess that I capture says “I’ll never marry
you! Never, do you hear me, NEVER!!!”, I will say “Oh well” and
kill her.

54. I will not strike a bargain with a demonic being then attempt to
double-cross it simply because I feel like being contrary.

55. The deformed mutants and odd-ball psychotics will have their place
in my Legions of Terror. However before I send them out on
important covert missions that require tact and subtlety, I will
first see if there is anyone else equally qualified who would
attract less attention.

56. My Legions of Terror will be trained in basic marksmanship. Any
who cannot learn to hit a man-sized target at 10 meters will be
used for target practice.

57. Before employing any captured artifacts or machinery, I will
carefully read the owner’s manual.

58. If it becomes necessary to escape, I will never stop to pose
dramatically and toss off a one-liner.

59. I will never build a sentient computer smarter than I am.
60. My five-year-old child advisor will also be asked to decipher any
code I am thinking of using. If he breaks the code in under 30
seconds, it will not be used. Note: this also applies to

61. If my advisors ask “Why are you risking everything on such a mad
scheme?”, I will not proceed until I have a response that
satisfies them.

62. I will design fortress hallways with no alcoves or protruding
structural supports which intruders could use for cover in a

63. Bulk trash will be disposed of in incinerators, not compactors.
And they will be kept hot, with none of that nonsense about flames
going through accessible tunnels at predictable intervals.

64. I will see a competent psychiatrist and get cured of all extremely
unusual phobias and bizarre compulsive habits which could prove to
be a disadvantage.

65. If I must have computer systems with publically available
terminals, the maps they display of my complex will have a room
clearly marked as the Main Control Room. That room will be the
Execution Chamber. The actual main control room will be marked as
Sewage Overflow Containment.

66. My security keypad will actually be a fingerprint scanner. Anyone
who watches someone press a sequence of buttons or dusts the pad
for fingerprints then subsequently tries to enter by repeating
that sequence will trigger the alarm system.

67. No matter how many shorts we have in the system, my guards will be
instructed to treat every surveillance camera malfunction as a
full-scale emergency.

68. I will spare someone who saved my life sometime in the past. This
is only reasonable as it encourages others to do so. However, the
offer is good one time only. If they want me to spare them again,
they’d better save my life again.

69. All midwives will be banned from the realm. All babies will be
delivered at state-approved hospitals. Orphans will be placed in
foster-homes, not abandoned in the woods to be raised by creatures
of the wild.

70. When my guards split up to search for intruders, they will always
travel in groups of at least two. They will be trained so that if
one of them disappears mysteriously while on patrol, the other
will immediately initiate an alert and call for backup, instead of
quizzically peering around a corner.

71. If I decide to test a lieutenant’s loyalty and see if he/she
should be made a trusted lieutenant, I will have a crack squad of
marksmen standing by in case the answer is no.

72. If all the heroes are standing together around a strange device
and begin to taunt me, I will pull out a conventional weapon
instead of using my unstoppable superweapon on them.

73. I will not agree to let the heroes go free if they win a rigged
contest, even though my advisors assure me it is impossible for
them to win.

74. When I create a multimedia presentation of my plan designed so
that my five-year-old advisor can easily understand the details, I
will not label the disk “Project Overlord” and leave it lying on
top of my desk.

75. I will instruct my Legions of Terror to attack the hero en masse,
instead of standing around waiting while members break off and
attack one or two at a time.

76. If the hero runs up to my roof, I will not run up after him and
struggle with him in an attempt to push him over the edge. I will
also not engage him at the edge of a cliff. (In the middle of a
rope-bridge over a river of molten lava is not even worth

77. If I have a fit of temporary insanity and decide to give the hero
the chance to reject a job as my trusted lieutentant, I will
retain enough sanity to wait until my current trusted lieutenant
is out of earshot before making the offer.

78. I will not tell my Legions of Terror “And he must be taken alive!”
The command will be “And try to take him alive if it is reasonably

79. If my doomsday device happens to come with a reverse switch, as
soon as it has been employed it will be melted down and made into
limited-edition commemorative coins.

80. If my weakest troops fail to eliminate a hero, I will send out my
best troops instead of wasting time with progressively stronger
ones as he gets closer and closer to my fortress.

81. If I am fighting with the hero atop a moving platform, have
disarmed him, and am about to finish him off and he glances behind
me and drops flat, I too will drop flat instead of quizzically
turning around to find out what he saw.

82. I will not shoot at any of my enemies if they are standing in
front of the crucial support beam to a heavy, dangerous,
unbalanced structure.

83. If I’m eating dinner with the hero, put poison in his goblet, then
have to leave the table for any reason, I will order new drinks
for both of us instead of trying to decide whether or not to
switch with him.

84. I will not have captives of one sex guarded by members of the
opposite sex.

85. I will not use any plan in which the final step is horribly
complicated, e.g. “Align the 12 Stones of Power on the sacred
altar then activate the medallion at the moment of total eclipse.”
Instead it will be more along the lines of “Push the button.”

86. I will make sure that my doomsday device is up to code and
properly grounded.

87. My vats of hazardous chemicals will be covered when not in use.
Also, I will not construct walkways above them.

88. If a group of henchmen fail miserably at a task, I will not berate
them for incompetence then send the same group out to try the task

89. After I captures the hero’s superweapon, I will not immediately
disband my legions and relax my guard because I believe whoever
holds the weapon is unstoppable. After all, the hero held the
weapon and I took it from him.

90. I will not design my Main Control Room so that every workstation
is facing away from the door.

91. I will not ignore the messenger that stumbles in exhausted and
obviously agitated until my personal grooming or current

entertainment is finished. It might actually be important.
92. If I ever talk to the hero on the phone, I will not taunt him.
Instead I will say this his dogged perseverance has given me new
insight on the futility of my evil ways and that if he leaves me
alone for a few months of quiet contemplation I will likely return
to the path of righteousness. (Heroes are incredibly gullible in
this regard.)

93. If I decide to hold a double execution of the hero and an
underling who failed or betrayed me, I will see to it that the
hero is scheduled to go first.

94. When arresting prisoners, my guards will not allow them to stop
and grab a useless trinket of purely sentimental value.

95. My dungeon will have its own qualified medical staff complete with
bodyguards. That way if a prisoner becomes sick and his cellmate
tells the guard it’s an emergency, the guard will fetch a trauma
team instead of opening up the cell for a look.

96. My door mechanisms will be designed so that blasting the control
panel on the outside seals the door and blasting the control panel
on the inside opens the door, not vice versa.

97. My dungeon cells will not be furnished with objects that contain
reflective surfaces or anything that can be unravelled.

98. If an attractive young couple enters my realm, I will carefully
monitor their activities. If I find they are happy and
affectionate, I will ignore them. However if circumstance have
forced them together against their will and they spend all their
time bickering and criticizing each other except during the
intermittent occasions when they are saving each others’ lives at
which point there are hints of sexual tension, I will immediately
order their execution.

99. Any data file of crucial importance will be padded to 1.45Mb in

100. Finally, to keep my subjects permanently locked in a mindless
trance, I will provide each of them with free unlimited Internet

101. I will not order my trusted lieutenant to kill the infant who is
destined to overthrow me — I’ll do it myself.

102. I will not waste time making my enemy’s death look like an
accident — I’m not accountable to anyone and my other enemies
wouldn’t believe it.

103. I will make it clear that I do know the meaning of the word
“mercy”; I simply choose not show them any.

104. My undercover agents will not have tattoos identifying them as
members of my organization, nor will they be required to wear
military boots or adhere to any other dress codes.

105. I will design all doomsday machines myself. If I must hire a mad
scientist to assist me, I will make sure that he is sufficiently
twisted to never regret his evil ways and seek to undo the damage
he’s caused.

106. If my supreme command center comes under attack, I will
immediately flee to safety in my prepared escape pod and direct
the defenses from there. I will not wait until the troops break
into my inner sanctum to attempt this.

107. Even though I don’t really care because I plan on living forever,
I will hire engineers who are able to build me a fortress sturdy
enough that, if I am slain, it won’t tumble to the ground for no
good structural reason.

108. Any and all magic and/or technology that can miraculously
resurrect a secondary character who has given up his/her life
through self sacrifice will be outlawed and destroyed.

109. I will see to it that plucky young lads/lasses in strange clothes
and with the accent of an outlander shall REGULARLY climb some
monument in the main square of my capital and denounce me, claim
to know the secret of my power, rally the masses to rebellion,
etc. That way, the citizens will be jaded in case the real thing
ever comes along.

110. I will not employ devious schemes that involve the hero’s party
getting into my inner sanctum before the trap is sprung.

111. I will offer oracles the choice of working exclusively for me or
being executed.

112. I will not rely entirely upon “totally reliable” spells that can
be neutralized by relatively inconspicuous talismans.

113. I will make the main entrance to my fortress standard-sized.
While elaborate 60-foot high double-doors definitely impress the
masses, they are hard to close quickly in an emergency.

114. I will never accept a challenge from the hero.

115. I will not engage an enemy single-handedly until all my soldiers
are dead.

116. If I capture the hero’s starship, I will keep it in the landing
bay with the ramp down, only a few token guards on duty and a ton
of explosives set to go off as soon as it clears the blast-range.

117. No matter how much I want revenge, I will never order an
underling “Leave him. He’s mine!”

118. If I have equipment which performs an important function, it will
not be activated by a lever that someone could trigger by
accidentally falling on when fatally wounded.

119. I will not attempt to kill the hero by placing a venomous
creature in his room. It will just wind up accidentally killing
one of my clumsy henchmen instead.

120. Since nothing is more irritating than a hero defeating you with
basic math skills, all of my personal weapons will be modified to
fire one more shot than the standard issue.

121. If I come into possession of an artifact which can only be used
by the pure of heart, I will not attempt to use it regardless.

122. The gun turrets on my fortress will not rotate enough so that
they may direct fire inward or at each other.

123. If I decide to hold a contest of skill open to the general
public, contestants will be required to remove their hooded cloaks
and shave their beards before entering.

124. Prior to kidnapping an older male scientist and forcing him to
work for me, I will investigate his offspring and make sure that
he has neither a beautiful but naive daughter who is willing to
risk anything to get him back, nor an estranged son who works in
the same field but had a falling-out with his father many years

125. Should I actually decide to kill the hero in an elaborate
escape-proof deathtrap room (water filling up, sand pouring down,
walls converging, etc.) I will not leave him alone five-to-ten
minutes prior to “imminent” death, but will instead (finding a
vantage point or monitoring camera) stick around and enjoy
watching my adversary’s demise.

126. Rather than having only one secret escape pod, which the hero can
easily spot and follow, I’ll simultaneously launch a few dozen
decoys to throw him off track.

127. Prison guards will have their own cantina featuring a wide
variety of tasty treats that will deliver snacks to the guards
while on duty. The guards will also be informed that accepting
food or drink from any other source will result in execution.

128. I will not employ robots as agents of destruction if there is any
possible way that they can be re-programmed or if their battery
packs are externally mounted and easily removable.

129. Despite the delicious irony, I will not force two heroes to fight
each other in the arena.

130. All members of my Legions of Terror will have professionally
tailored uniforms. If the hero knocks a soldier unconscious and
steals the uniform, the poor fit will give him away.

131. I will never place the key to a cell just out of a prisoner’s

132. Before appointing someone as my trusted lieutenant, I will
conduct a thorough background investigation and security

133. If I find my beautiful consort with access to my fortress has
been associating with the hero, I’ll have her executed. It’s
regrettable, but new consorts are easier to get than new
fortresses and maybe the next one will pay attention at the
orientation meeting.

134. If I am escaping in a large truck and the hero is pursuing me in
a small Italian sports car, I will not wait for the hero to pull
up along side of me and try to force him off the road as he
attempts to climb aboard. Instead I will slam on the brakes when
he’s directly behind me. (A rudimentary knowledge of physics can
prove quite useful.)

135. My doomsday machine will have a highly-advanced technological
device called a capacitor in case someone inconveniently pulls the
plug at the last second. (If I have access to REALLY advanced
technology, I will include a back-up device known as a battery.)

136. If I build a bomb, I will simply remember which wire to cut if it
has to be deactivated and make every wire red.

137. Before spending available funds on giant gargoyles, gothic
arches, or other cosmetically intimidating pieces of architecture,
I will see if there are any valid military expenditures that could
use the extra budget.

138. The passageways to and within my domain will be well-lit with
fluorescent lighting. Regrettably, the spooky atmosphere will be
lost, but my security patrols will be more effective.

139. If I’m sitting in my camp, hear a twig snap, start to
investigate, then encounter a small woodland creature, I will send
out some scouts anyway just to be on the safe side. (If they
disappear into the foliage, I will not send out another patrol; I
will break out the napalm.)

140. I will instruct my guards when checking a cell that appears empty
to look for the chamber pot. If the chamber pot is still there,
then the prisoner has escaped and they may enter and search for
clues. If the chamber pot is not there, then either the prisoner
is perched above the lintel waiting to strike them with it or else
he decided to take it as a souvenir (in which case he is obviously
deeply disturbed and poses no threat). Either way, there’s no
point in entering.

141. As an alternative to not having children, I will have lots of
children. My sons will be too busy jockeying for position to ever
be a real threat, and the daughters will all sabotage each other’s
attempts to win the hero.

142. If I have children and subsequently grandchildren, I will keep my
three-year-old granddaughter near me at all times. When the hero
enters to kill me, I will ask him to first explain to her why it
is necessary to kill her beloved grandpa. When the hero launches
into an explanation of morality way over her head, that will be
her cue to pull the lever and send him into the pit of crocodiles.
After all, small children like crocodiles almost as much as Evil
Overlords and it’s important to spend quality time with the

143. If one of my daughters actually manages to win the hero and
openly defies me, I will congratulate her on her choice, declare a
national holiday to celebrate the wedding, and proclaim the hero
my heir. This will probably be enough to break up the
relationship. If not, at least I am assured that no hero will
attack my Legions of Terror when they are holding a parade in his

144. I will order my guards to stand in a line when they shoot at the
hero so he cannot duck and have them accidentally shoot each
other. Also, I will order some to aim above, below, and to the
sides so he cannot jump out of the way.

145. My dungeon cell decor will not feature exposed pipes. While they
add to the gloomy atmosphere, they are good conductors of
vibrations and a lot of prisoners know Morse code.

146. If my surveillance reports any un-manned or seemingly innocent
ships found where they are not supposed to be, they will be
immediately vaporized instead of brought in for salvage.

147. I will classify my lieutenants in three categories: untrusted,
trusted, and completely trusted. Promotion to the third category
will be awarded posthumously.

148. Before ridiculing my enemies for wasting time on a device to stop
me that couldn’t possibly work, I will first acquire a copy of the
schematics and make sure that in fact it couldn’t possibly work.

149. Ropes supporting various fixtures will not be tied next to open
windows or staircases, and chandeliers will be hung way at the top
of the ceiling.

150. I will provide funding and research to develop tactical and
strategic weapons covering a full range of needs so my choices are
not limited to “hand to hand combat with swords” and “blow up the

151. I will not set myself up as a god. That perilous position is
reserved for my trusted lieutenant.

152. I will instruct my fashion designer that when it comes to
accessorizing, second-chance body armor goes well with every

153. My Legions of Terror will be an equal-opportunity employer.
Conversely, when it is prophesied that no man can defeat me, I
will keep in mind the increasing number of non-traditional gender

154. I will instruct my Legions of Terror in proper search techniques.
In particular, if they are searching for escapees and someone
shouts, “Quick! They went that way!”, they must first ascertain
the identity of this helpful informant before dashing off in hot

155. If I know of any heroes in the land, I will not under any
circumstance kill their mentors, teachers, and/or best friends.
156. If I have the hero and his party trapped, I will not wait until
my Superweapon charges to finish them off if more conventional
means are available.

157. Whenever plans are drawn up that include a time-table, I’ll
post-date the completion 3 days after it’s actually scheduled to
occur and not worry too much if they get stolen.

158. I will exchange the labels on my folder of top-secret plans and
my folder of family recipes. Imagine the hero’s surprise when he
decodes the stolen plans and finds instructions for Grandma’s
Potato Salad.

159. If I burst into rebel headquarters and find it deserted except
for an odd, blinking device, I will not walk up and investigate;
I’ll run like hell.

160. Before being accepted into my Legions of Terror, potential
recruits will have to pass peripheral vision and hearing tests,
and be able to recognize the sound of a pebble thrown to distract

161. I will occasionally vary my daily routine and not live my life in
a rut. For example, I will not always take a swig of wine or ring
a giant gong before finishing off my enemy.

162. If I steal something very important to the hero, I will not put
it on public display.

163. When planning an expedition, I will choose a route for my forces
that does not go through thick, leafy terrain conveniently located
near the rebel camp.

164. I will hire one hopelessly stupid and incompetent lieutenant, but
make sure that he is full of misinformation when I send him to
capture the hero.

165. As an equal-opportunity employer, I will have several
hearing-impaired body-guards. That way if I wish to speak
confidentially with someone, I’ll just turn my back so the guards
can’t read my lips instead of sending all of them out of the room.

166. If the rebels manage to trick me, I will make a note of what they
did so that I do not keep falling for the same trick over and over

167. If I am recruiting to find someone to run my computer systems,
and my choice is between the brilliant programmer who’s head of
the world’s largest international technology conglomerate and an
obnoxious 15-year-old dork who’s trying to impress his dream girl,
I’ll take the brat and let the hero get stuck with the genius.

168. I will plan in advance what to do with each of my enemies if they
are captured. That way, I will never have to order someone to be
tied up while I decide his fate.

169. If I have massive computer systems, I will take at least as many
precautions as a small business and include things such as
virus-scans and firewalls.

170. I will be an equal-opportunity despot and make sure that terror
and oppression is distributed fairly, not just against one
particular group that will form the core of a rebellion.

171. I will not locate a base in a volcano, cave, or any other
location where it would be ridiculously easy to bypass security by
rapelling down from above.

172. I will allow guards to operate under a flexible work schedule.
That way if one is feeling sleepy, he can call for a replacement,
punch out, take a nap, and come back refreshed and alert to finish
out his shift.

173. Although it would provide amusement, I will not confess to the
hero’s rival that I was the one who committed the heinous act for
which he blames the hero.

174. If I am dangling over a precipice and the hero reaches his hand
down to me, I will not attempt to pull him down with me. I will
allow him to rescue me, thank him properly, then return to the
safety of my fortress and order his execution.

175. I will have my fortress exorcized regularly. Although ghosts in
the dungeon provide an appropriate atmosphere, they tend to
provide valuable information once placated.

176. I will add indelible dye to the moat. It won’t stop anyone from
swimming across, but even dim-witted guards should be able to
figure out when someone has entered in this fashion.

177. If a scientist with a beautiful and unmarried daughter refuses to
work for me, I will not hold her hostage. Instead, I will offer to
pay for her future wedding and her children’s college tuition.

178. If I have the hero cornered and am about to finish him off and he
says “Look out behind you!!” I will not laugh and say “You don’t
expect me to fall for that old trick, do you?” Instead I will take
a step to the side and half turn. That way I can still keep my
weapon trained on the hero, I can scan the area behind me, and if
anything was heading for me it will now be heading for him.

179. I will not outsource core functions.

180. If I ever build a device to transfer the hero’s energy into me, I
will make sure it cannot operate in reverse.

181. I will decree that all hay be shipped in tightly-packed bales.
Any wagonload of loose hay attempting to pass through a checkpoint
will be set on fire.

182. I will not hold any sort of public celebration within my castle
walls. Any event open to members of the public will be held down
the road in the festival pavilion.

183. Before using any device which transfers energy directly into my
body, I will install a surge suppressor.

184. I will hire a drama coach. The hero will think it must be a case
of mistaken identity when confronted by my Minnesota accent (if
everyone sounds American) or my Cornwall accent (if everyone
sounds British).

185. If I capture an enemy known for escaping via ingenious and
fantastic little gadgets, I will order a full cavity search and
confiscate all personal items before throwing him in my dungeon.

186. I will not devise any scheme in which Part A consists of tricking
the hero into unwittingly helping me and Part B consists of
laughing at him then leaving him to his own devices.

187. I will not hold lavish banquets in the middle of a famine. The
good PR among the guests doesn’t make up for the bad PR among the

188. I will funnel some of my ill-gotten gains into urban renewal
projects. Although slums add a quaint and picturesque quality to
any city, they too often contain unexpected allies for heroes.

189. I will never tell the hero “Yes I was the one who did it, but
you’ll never be able to prove it to that incompetent old fool.”
Chances are, that incompetant old fool is standing behind the

190. If my mad scientist/wizard tells me he has almost perfected my
Superweapon but it still needs more testing, I will wait for him
to complete the tests. No one ever conquered the world using a
beta version.

191. I will not appoint a relative to my staff of advisors. Not only
is nepotism the cause of most breakdowns in policy, but it also
causes trouble with the EEOC.

192. If I appoint someone as my consort, I will not subsequently
inform her that she is being replaced by a younger, more
attractive woman.

193. If I am using the hero’s girlfriend as a hostage and am holding
her at the point of imminent death when confronting the hero, I
will focus on her and not him. He won’t try anything with his true
love held hostage. On the other hand, the fact that she has been
weak, slow-witted, naive and generally useless up to this point
has no bearing on her actions at the moment of dramatic climax.

194. I will make several ludicrously erroneous maps to secret passages
in my fortress and hire travellers to entrust them to aged

195. I will not use hostages as bait in a trap. Unless you’re going to
use them for negotiation or as human shields, there’s no point in
taking them.

196. I will hire an expert marksman to stand by the entrance to my
fortress. His job will be to shoot anyone who rides up to
challenge me.

197. I will explain to my Legions of Terror that guns are ranged
weapons and swords are not. Anyone who attempts to throw a sword
at the hero or club him with a gun will be summarily executed.

198. I will remember that any vulnerabilities I have are to be
revealed strictly on a need-to-know basis. I will also remember
that no one needs to know.

199. I will not make alliances with those more powerful than myself.
Such a person would only double-cross me in my moment of glory. I
will make alliances with those less powerful than myself. I will
then double-cross them in their moment of glory.

200. During times of peace, my Legions of Terror will not be permitted
to lie around drinking mead and eating roast boar. Instead they
will be required to obey my dietician and my aerobics instructor.

201. All giant serpents acting as guardians in underground lakes will
be fitted with sports goggles to prevent eye injuries.

202. All crones with the ability to prophesy will be given free
facelifts, permanents, manicures, and Donna Karan wardrobes. That
should pretty well destroy their credibility.

203. I will not employ an evil wizard if he has a sleazy mustache.

204. I will hire an entire squad of blind guards. Not only is this in
keeping with my status as an equal opportunity employer, but it
will come in handy when the hero becomes invisible or douses my
only light source.

205. All repair work will be done by an in-house maintenance staff.
Any alleged “repairmen” who show up at the fortress will be
escorted to the dungeon.

206. When my Legions of Terror park their vehicle to do reconnaissance
on foot, they will be instructed to employ The Club.

207. Employees will have conjugal visit trailers which they may use
provided they call in a replacement and sign out on the timesheet.
Given this, anyone caught making out in a closet while leaving
their station unmonitored will be shot.

208. Members of my Legion of Terror will attend seminars on
Sensitivity Training. It’s good public relations for them to be
kind and courteous to the general population when not actively
engaged in sowing chaos and destruction.

209. I will not, under any circumstances, marry a woman I know to be a
faithless, conniving, back-stabbing witch simply because I am
absolutely desperate to perpetuate my family line. Of course, we
can still date.

210. All guest-quarters will be bugged and monitored so that I can
keep track of what the visitors I have for some reason allowed to
roam about my fortress are actually plotting.

211. If my chief engineer displeases me, he will be shot, not
imprisoned in the dungeon or beyond the traps he helped design.

212. I will not send out batalions composed wholly of robots or
skeletons against heroes who have qualms about killing living

213. I will not wear long, heavy cloaks. While they certainly make a
bold fashion statement, they have an annoying tendency to get
caught in doors or tripped over during an escape.

214. If a malignant being demands a sacrificial victim have a
particular quality, I will check to make sure said victim has this
quality immediately before the sacrifice and not rely on earlier
results. (Especially if the quality is virginity and the victim is
the hero’s girlfriend.)

215. If I ever MUST put a digital timer on my doomsday device, I will
buy one free from quantum mechanical anomalies. So many brands on
the market keep perfectly good time while you’re looking at them,
but whenever you turn away for a couple minutes then turn back,
you find that the countdown has progressed by only a few seconds.

216. If my Legions of Terror are defeated in a battle, I will quietly
withdraw and regroup instead of launching a haphazard mission to
assassinate the hero.

217. If I’m wearing the key to the hero’s shackles around my neck and
his former girlfriend now volunteers to become my mistress and we
are all alone in my bedchamber on my bed and she offers me a
goblet of wine, I will politely decline the offer.

218. I will not pick up a glowing ancient artifact and shout “It’s
power is now mine!!!” Instead I will grab some tongs, transfer it
to a hazardous materials container, and transport it back to my
lab for study.

219. I will be selective in the hiring of assassins. Anyone who
attempt to strike down the hero the first instant his back is
turned will not even be considered for the job.

220. Whatever my one vulnerability is, I will fake a different one.
For example, ordering all mirrors removed from the palace,
screaming and flinching whenever someone accidentally holds up a
mirror, etc. In the climax when the hero whips out a mirror and
thrusts it at my face, my reaction will be “Hmm…I think I need a

221. My force-field generators will be located inside the shield they

222. I reserve the right to execute any henchmen who appear to be a
little too intelligent, powerful, or devious. However if I do so,
I will not at some subsequent point shout “Why am I surrounded by
these incompetent fools?!”

223. I will install a fire extinguisher in every room — three, if the
room contains vital equipment or volatile chemicals.

224. I will build machines which simply fail when overloaded, rather
than wipe out all nearby henchmen in an explosion or worse yet set
off a chain reaction. I will do this by using devices known as
“surge protectors”.

225. I will explain to my guards that most people have their eyes in
the front of their heads and thus while searching for someone it
makes little sense to draw a weapon and slowly back down the

226. I will have a staff of competent detectives handy. If I learn
that someone in a certain village is plotting against me, I will
have them find out who rather than wipe out the entire village in
a preemptive strike.

227. I will never bait a trap with genuine bait.

228. If the hero claims he wishes to confess in public or to me
personally, I will remind him that a notarized deposition will
serve just as well.

229. If I have several diabolical schemes to destroy the hero, I will
set all of them in motion at once rather than wait for them to
fail and launch them successively.

230. I will not procrastinate regarding any ritual granting

231. Mythical guardians will be instructed to ask visitors name,
purpose of visit, and whether they have an appointment instead of
ancient riddles.



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