Subject:[Flame] Evil Overlords, part I
Date:Fri Aug 28 18:24:33 1998
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 215 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 labeled "Danger:
     Do Not Push". The big red button marked "Danger: 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 labeled 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 implementation.

 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

 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

 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

 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

 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

 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 indestructable 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

 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

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

 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 sidekick.

 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 lieutenant.

 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

 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's 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 of 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

 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.

[To be continued...]

Back to the list of messages