The Top 70 Things I’d Do If I Ever Became An Evil Overlord

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  1. My Legions of Terror will have helmets with clear Plexiglas 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 that 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 that is my one weakness.
  6. I will not gloat over my enemies’ predicament before killing them.
  7. 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.
  8. I will not interrogate my enemies in the inner sanctum-a small hotel well outside my borders will work just as well.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. The hero is not entitled to a last kiss, a last cigarette, or any other form of last request.
  12. 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.
  13. When I employ people as advisors, I will occasionally listen to their advice.
  14. 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.
  15. 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 storm troopers, Roman foot soldiers, or savage Mongol hordes. All were eventually defeated and I want my troops to have a more positive mind-set.
  16. No matter how tempted I am with the prospect of unlimited power, I will not consume any energy field bigger than my head.
  17. 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.
  18. No matter how well it would perform, I will never construct any sort of machinery that is completely indestructible except for one small and virtually inaccessible vulnerable spot.
  19. 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.
  20. My pet monster will be kept in a secure cage from which it cannot escape and into which I could not accidentally stumble.
  21. I will dress in bright and cheery colors, and so throw my enemies into confusion.
  22. 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.
  23. All naive, busty tavern wenches in my realm will be replaced with surly, world-weary waitresses who will provide no unexpected reinforcements and/or romantic subplot for the hero or his sidekick.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. I will not grow a goatee. In the old days they made you look diabolical.  Now they just make you look like a disaffected member of Generation X.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. I will be neither chivalrous nor sporting. If I have an unstoppable super weapon, I will use it as early and as often as possible instead of keeping it in reserve.
  31. Once my power is secure, I will destroy all those pesky time-travel devices.
  32. 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 fetching keys happens to follow him around.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. I will treat any beast that 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.
  36. My main computers will have their own special operating system that will be completely incompatible with standard IBM and Macintosh PowerBook’s.
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
  39. I will not strike a bargain with a demonic being then attempt to double-cross it simply because I feel like being contrary.
  40. The deformed mutants and oddball 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.
  41. 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 given janitorial positions.
  42. Before employing any captured artifacts or machinery, I will carefully read the owner’s manual.
  43. If it becomes necessary to escape, I will never stop to pose dramatically and toss off a one-liner.
  44. I will never build a sentient computer smarter than I am.
  45. 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 less than 30 seconds, it will not be used. Note: this also applies to passwords.
  46. 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.
  47. I will design fortress hallways with no alcoves or protruding structural supports that intruders could use for cover in a firefight.
  48. I will see a competent psychiatrist and get cured of all extremely unusual phobias and bizarre compulsive habits that could prove to be a disadvantage.
  49. 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.
  50. 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.
  51. 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.
  52. 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 Super Weapon on them.
  53. 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.
  54. 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.
  55. 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.
  56. 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 considering.)
  57. If I have a fit of temporary insanity and decide to give the hero the chance to accept a job as my trusted lieutenant, I will retain enough sanity to wait until my current trusted lieutenant is out of earshot before making the offer.
  58. 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 practical.”
  59. 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. Troops cost money to train.
  60. If I am fighting with the hero atop a moving platform such as a train, 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.
  61. 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.
  62. 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.”
  63. I will make sure that my doomsday device is up to code and properly grounded.
  64. My vats of hazardous chemicals will be covered when not in use. Also, I will not construct walkways above them.
  65. 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 again.
  66. I will not design my Main Control Room so that every workstation is facing away from the door.
  67. 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.
  68. When arresting prisoners, my guards will not allow them to stop and grab a useless trinket of purely sentimental value.
  69. 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.
  70. 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.