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Just For Fun: TV Tropes Additional Evil Overlord Vows Cellblock C

  1. I will study the hero's abilities and use training/magic/science/Phlebotinum to create a hybrid of the Kung-Fu Proof Mook and Superpowered Mooks concepts. That way, I will have minions that are not only immune (or at the very least resistant) to the hero's attacks, but ones that will use the hero's own tricks against them as well.
  2. If the hero is adept at le parkour, stealth, or is good at improvising things, I will force them to fight in an open, barren field.
  3. I shall use robots in my pursuit of heroes who use fear, social engineering, or psychological tactics.
  4. To handle those frustrating stealth-based heroes, I shall construct the interior of my fortress out of a kind of durable yet extremely creaky wood (covered in fireproof paint, of course).
    • Alternatively, I will use highly sensitive panels that light up when touched
  5. I will remember that long range artillery and high altitude bombers are a good part of any evil army and stock up. That way, I have the option to kill the hero in a massive area bombardment rather than send in hordes of mooks that will probably get slaughtered or helicopters and tanks which can be hijacked.
  6. I will regularly go on hunting trips and kill animals and monsters that are manageable within my current level of personal combat prowess. Not only will I get to broaden my horizons by doing something other than being an evil overlord, but the resulting influx of XP will help to avert Villain Forgot to Level Grind.
  7. I will make sure to find the fine line between Awesome, but Impractical and awesome, but practical, and never cross it. A Base on Wheels or an Airborne Aircraft Carrier may sound cool, but what about dirt roads and air pockets? Or interceptors? Or nuclear land mines? (come to think about it, even a man-portable nuke can take out a superheavy) I will only use massive and insanely complex vehicles and/or weapons if I know I can make them work.
  8. I will not use a door-lock system that de-activates when the hero kills everyone in the room. Instead, when s/he kills the last person, the room will collapse and/or become a vacuum.
  9. I will make all my minions pass psych eval and IQ tests. Idiot minions generally forget orders, and respond to such orders as "Kill her" or "Strap him down" with "But datz mean, boss..." Insane minions will only be allowed if they're of the amusingly mad type, and kept the fick away from anyone or anything important.
  10. I will not give my favorite /firstborn kid a cool theme name like "Mordryd" and my other kids throwaway names like Jimmy. Given the amount of bickering evil children are prone to, Mordryd's probably gonna get a pen in the eye and the minions are gonna have to learn how to serve a guy named "Lord Jimmy" with a straight face.
  11. I will keep careful records of all the towns I pillage, and will do so only when necessary. Nothing pisses the hero off like finding out that the complete massacre of his hometown was an average weekend out for me.
  12. Before choosing to become an evil overlord I will sit down and take a nice long think about at my career choice, evaluate the pitfalls, ensure I have the necessary funds and that there are no pesky 'rightful heirs to the throne out there' (as a rule they pretty much always win the end - regardless of their seeming level of stupidity). Then, if I still feel the need to continue in this path, I will seriously ask myself if this is really what I want or if I'm simply making one last futile attempt to gain my mother/father/ex-girlfriend/(insert person here)'s love (if so I should accept in advance that all my efforts will be futile as becoming a jerk only wins one love and affection if one is ridiculously attractive ). If after looking at this from all angles, I still feel the need to attempt to take over the world, I will sit down read over EVERY story in the history of time involving the fate of an evil overlord and in the end decide my survival chances will greatly increase if I join team hero, hide my true nature become a useful, well-liked friend of the chosen one, help him defeat all other evil overlords, when he rises to power subtly hint at (in a way which makes him think it's his own idea) him making me his second in command (if he has legitimate heirs be nice enough to them that they won't want to kill me or if they do people will consider them ungrateful brats and not support them in their efforts), have my-fake best friend appoint me his most trusted guard, wait for someone else to try to kill him, merely pretend to be asleep and allow this person to pass, cry like a baby at the funeral, blame everything on myself, have his grieving and presumably attractive widow comfort me - DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE FALL IN LOVE WITH AND OR MARRY THE BEAUTIFUL WIDOW THIS WILL END BADLY, PARTICULARLY IF ASKED TO CHOOSE BETWEEN ME AND HER HERO-JR. CHILDREN). When all this is accomplished, simply sit back and take wrongful place on the throne (also, at least attempt to be nice to be people and keep them happy as otherwise they might rise against me)
  13. I will make sure to keep my priorities in order:
    • Priority number 1: My own life, comfort, and safety (except in a plan that ends with my death, which I should keep in mind, is the FINAL step of the plan, and should only occur at such a time.)
    • Priority number 2: My Evil Plans. No, killing the hero is NOT as important as furthering my own goals, except when they are directly threatening Priority Number 1.
    • Priority number 3: My reign of terror, also maintaining my Legions of Doom.
      • For that matter, switch 2 and 3. I can always come up with another Evil Plan if my current one fails, but if I lose what power I have already, it'll take a lot of planning just to get back to square one. My Evil Plans should be for the purpose of maintaining and expanding my life and reign of terror, not the other way around.
    • Priority number 4: The hero. (Remember to be pragmatic here. No need to play fair, or anything. Take advantage of his/her inherent naivete and weaknesses.) Never confuse this with Priority Number 1. Because trying to take the hero with you is a good way to get killed.
    • To summarize all these lists into something easy to remember: I will not be a damned fool. I will not be overly prideful. I will not side with or attempt to control anything bigger, better, or more powerful than I am. I will take reasonable and reliable precautions whenever available. I will NOT be a damned fool. I will do everything in my power to stop the hero or heroes, and I will make sure I don't give them any advantages. I will make sure my Legions of Doom are loyal, intelligent, and skilled (And Equal Opportunity employment.) I will be attentive and careful at all times. I will not have any moral or ethical code that might inhibit me from taking every advantage I can get my hands on. I will stay up to date on any important development. Most importantly, I will keep in mind the fact that I am not Immortal, Invincible, or in any way unstoppable, because I am, in fact, unfortunately mortal.
    • In short, under no circumstances will I be a damned fool.
  14. I call them "mooks", but really, they will all be highly-trained badasses.
  15. Access to any area of the base that could be remotely important will require a full palm scan, retinal scan, key card, voice recognition, and a password of at least 9 random digits. The scanners will be programmed to tell if someone is dead, in case the hero tries to carry somebody's dead body to the scanner.
  16. In the event that I am ever bottled, I will ensure that I am either unconscious or have some outside means of entertainment, (or better yet, can leave the universe altogether until the release). Also, if someone has released me demanding power, I will not kill him/her immediately, instead I will use his knowledge of the different time period, and give him a high position when I regain my authority.
  17. I will make sure that any mercenaries or bounty hunters I hire do not have any odd quirks to get in the way of their objectives. Nothing is more disappointing than learning that they didn't do their job because there was a wounded animal nearby and he "had to nurse the poor thing back to health".
  18. Upon further consideration, I WILL offer a bounty to any henchman who captures the Hero. The bounty will be offered to all who assist in this capture. I will, however, pay in goods other than cold hard cash, to prevent inflation.
    • On second thought, I will tell my henchmen that once the hero is dead before me, they will all get a bonus this year. This will prevent the potential of squabbling and fighting each other for the rewards while ensuring they don't try and skimp me on the killing him part
  19. If I offer to pay someone, I will keep the vow, and NOT kill them once they are no longer useful. It worked for Warlord Zsinj.
  20. If my R&D team invents a bomb that can't be defused, I will get them to develop an ICBM that can't be retargeted.
  21. My fortress will not have bad muzak (like there's such a thing as good muzak). I will also make sure to get suggestions for the background music, and not have it all pop or Three Chords and the Truth, but rather a mix of all genres we can all live with. People are less effective when thinking "I hate this friggin' song". Minions also fight harder to Metal than Teenybopper, so when the alarm goes off, the background music instantly switches to a sufficiently awesome Heavy Mithril album, for example, Gods of War. Or anything from a Command & Conquer soundtrack.
  22. I will keep all new weapons top secret until I develop armor that protects against it.
  23. If I know where the Sword of Plot Advancement and Forged by the Gods Armor of Invincibility are, and am unable to use them due to those Darkness-awful Morality Locks (or destroy them outright), I will booby trap them so nobody can use them against me. The last thing I need is some Mary Sue (especially a Canon Sue) wielding my Achilles' Heel coming at me just before I complete the final Human Sacrifice needed to turn me into a God of Evil.
    • If, by any chances, they are stored underground/in deep caves/some elaborate structures (which seems to be a lot), I'll just collapse the whole place and bury all those artifacts, dump a whole lot of concrete over the area, and set some people to watch over the area in case of heroes coming in to investigate the area.
      • Also, if it is possible and won't end up in a large disaster, such as the monsters in area dig up the cement, even if nobody blames me for it or it won't lower my public PR, I will use my resources to build a prosperous city on top of the cement-filled area, after I make sure there are no crevices that have accidentally formed. On top of the most likely area that the item will be, I will build a very good hospital that takes care of all diseases and conditions, magical or biological, and have it that the basement will be needed for the proper running of the hospital. This way, the hero cannot/will not/doesn't think of digging down in that area to get the item. This hospital, paid for by me and using my technology/magic, will not only be good for my PR, but if someone does get it into their head to dig down in the basement, I will have guards in the hospital. If it's the hero then they will have to waste time trying to explain to everybody why in hell they were doing something that could possibly take down a very effective hospital that is, in fact, run by the very person they are getting the weapon to take that person down.
  24. If I am accountable to a superior, and I have failed him, I will not blame my failure on my minions or colleages, nor will I ask for a paycheck or a raise. This often leads to you being executed, as a common trait of Starscreams is that they care more about themselves than their employer. I will instead take full responsibility for my failure.
  25. Destroy humanity. They're just not worth the effort of enslaving, really.
  26. If one lone scientist warns me that my latest plan will unleash horrifying forces upon me, I will put him on my top advisory committee instead of trying to discredit him.
  27. Rather than trying to fulfill prophecies, I will stay the heck away from them. The last thing I need is for a group of fanatics pointing out that I'm acting like a Nikolai Carpathia expy.
  28. Given a choice between killing a specific high-ranking enemy with a 30 megaton ICBM, and a gun, I'd choose the gun. It does put me in danger, but it's the only way to bypass his Plot Armor.
  29. All protagonists who attempt to kill me will be given a computer with Internet access as a reward. And this will be the Home Page. That ought to give me enough time to reach my Escape Vehicle and start the self-destruct sequence. I will also check if they made any useful additions to the related TV Tropes pages, as heroes usually have an unstated hidden superpower at making jokes about future events (especially if I am in a prequel or time travel situation). I will also check if they DELETED stuff, and NOT make my new base detected solely because it accessed TVTROPES.ORG...
  30. I will found, christen, donate to, and attend charity events of an animal hospital and adoption center regularly. This will not only boost my PR, but the heroes will waste time trying to find out what sort of sinister reason there is that would justify my involvement. If the heroes try to bring it down, not only will they find that there wasn't anything suspicious happening there, but also makes them look much less heroic in the eyes of the public for destroying the place that takes care of all those helpless animals.
  31. Unless I am SURE that this universe has a Lost Aesop, I will refrain from pointing out any contradictions, grey areas, or other weaknesses in the hero's moral code. Odds are that the author put more thought into rebutting my complaints than the complaints themselves.
  32. If I'm aware that my death will triggers whatever nonsensical force to collapse my Supervillain Lair, I will make sure this also applies with all The Empire public structures such as aqueduct and mine shaft (just like my lair, I built most of them anyway). And I will remind the heroes that killing me mean years of drought and mineral shortage to millions people.
  33. Rather than booby traps that kill outright, I will have booby traps that do character assassination as well. For example; a bookshelf full of porn swing open when the hero steps through the laser sensor. All magazines will be coated in poison, so once he flips through his favorite naughty publication, he drops dead. I merely need to display his corpse with a deathgrip on a Hentai for the ire of the masses over his death to fade into "I can't believe we idolized that perv".
    • I will have a large amount of said poison waft into the air when the shelf opens, just in case wonderboy happens to be one of these bloody chaste heroes. I will also have a vacuum chamber just after the poison porn, just in case he packs a gasmask. I can simply plant a naughty book on him afterward.
    • I will make sure never to read the stuff myself where others can see me. If I need "adult" entertainment, it will be stored in a secure place, with an anti-eavesdropping EMP curtain and vault doors coded to my fingerprints, eyescan, voiceprint, DNA, and psychic information, and with at least one combination lock and two key-type locks.
  34. If the hero has a particularly gentle, nice, and sweet companion, I will not torture or otherwise provoke him/her. I will, however, attempt to keep some genuinely nice, gentle people around who are loyal to me personally.
  35. The first thing that my Legions of Terror learn as part of their training will be that standing perfectly still out in the open during a firefight is not going to help their life expectancy.
  36. If body armor cannot protect my minions, I won't issue it. What's the point?
    • If this is true, I will also help them to look stylish, if there's no point in armor, making them look cool can make them killable but not disposable.
  37. If I manage to capture one of the heroes, I figure out what kind of weakness allow me to capture this one at first. Then perform other methods like psychic interrogation, DNA scanning and computer simulations to further discovery on their weaknesses and abilities. This data will then be present at the next advisors meeting for analysis and exploiting it.
    • If the reason I can capture this one make no sense, it's possibly a trap. I will continue the experiment process but with great caution.
    • The range of experiment will be decide depend on the captive. For instance, Child Mage or The Hero's little sister are unlikely to provide much useful information by physical examination and better use for bargain. I will only consider full surgical dissection if the captive is The Hero or The Ace.
      • Or an in-depth surgical examination if I need the subject alive after the study is complete.
  38. I will have minions search out every weapon merchant in the land and either employ him or buy out all his stocks. With any luck the heroes will have no access to equipment above the starters.
  39. I will refrain from using the standard supervillain insults. "Imbecile" and "You Fool!", A) Lower minion self-esteem, and B) while they get the point across, are cliche'.
    • I will never directly insult the Minion's culture or race. The individual is weak, the whole is insurmountable.
  40. If I am the Villain in a Porn with Plot, I will not be one of those idiots who screws 24 /7. The body has enough blood to fuel the brains or the nether regions, not both.
  41. If I have other means to gain control of the kingdom then force a princess to marry me, I'll go with this plan instead. Also, I'll make sure to remember that "princess" is not synonym to "first beauty in the country" or to "perfect wife for evil lord."
  42. A backstabbing wife can be dangerous to have around, but she can provide necessary training. If I never relax in her company, I less likely relax when hero comes to assassinate me.
    • If the hero does manage to kill me, I will use the hidden weapon, I have on my person, not on the hero (he will probably dodge it any anyway,) but at the said backstabbing wife. My Final Speech will be: "Did you a favor." Then die.
  43. Should I discover an alien planet with sentient life hostile to my goals, I will genetically engineer a plague that works on them (and ONLY on them) and kills after 24 hours as well as a temporary cure. This plague shall be carefully engineered and tested to ensure that it cannot, under any circumstances, infect humans. Still, I will ensure that my minions (and myself) wear special bio-hazard suits outside of a few sterilized area into which aliens cannot go. After the population is infected and enough have died for them to be worried, I'll offer the 24 hours worth of antidote every day in return for a lifetime of free slave labor. Any who refuse will, obviously, be left to die.
    • If the universe I happen to be in also has necromantic magic, I will also make burying or incinerating the corpses of the dead slaves punishable by death. That way, I have a group of meat-puppets to use in gas-filled parts of the mines.
      • Before I do this, however, I will do detailed research on the burial customs and death rituals of my new slave race, and avoid violating them horribly. I will also be careful to avoid abusing them or making it obvious that they are my slaves. While quashing their rebellion would, obviously, be only a matter of witholding the medication for 48 hours, there's no point in giving the heroes the opporunity to cause havoc in my empire.
  44. I will pretend to care for my minions to keep morale up, but in actuality I will be sure that I do not, in any way, care about them. That way, I won't go crazy should they turn against me. I'm looking at you, Azula.
  45. If there is an indigenous tribe near my secret military installation, I will ally with them by making them dependent on whatever technology or substance I have to offer them in exchange for helping me fight the resistance and training soldiers how to fight using their primitive weapons so that Rock Beats Laser will work in my favor. If their ecosystem has a shared consciousness, I'll deliberately feed it false memories implicating the resistance in destroying the environment of my home country or planet.
    • If said shared consciousness extends to the ''entire damn planet'', includes the resistance's minds, and/or is otherwise impossible/impractical/dangerous to trick, I will reverse my environmentally-unsound practices and declare the place a national park. It's good for PR, and a shared consciousness could be a valuable ally.
  46. If I'm not already batshit, I will at least pretend to be so I can plead insanity at my trial (If I get one, hopefully the hero will take pity on a "poor madman" and follow Due Process).
  47. I will have a suggestion box outside my office. This doesn't necessarily mean I'll read anything the mooks stuff in there, but it will raise morale.
    • Alternatively, I will read the suggestions. Who knows? They might actually have a point.
  48. Mooks will have their libido supressed to nil while on duty, regardless of gender. This will allow me to use the money the other overlords are using for the base whorehouse for weapons R&D, and solve the problems arising from accidentaly having Limpwrist squad or the Amazon Brigade guarding the hero, and make every one of my minions Ignore The Fan Service.
  49. If the Green Rocks my Mad Scientist team is using in their research causes horrendous mutation and/or death, but also can be used to do magic, I will make sure to have the devices powered by it be bulletproof and make uniforms insulated against its radiation before having what amounts to little more than a bottle of the stuff and a handful of wires strapped to someone's arm.
  50. I will watch Burn Notice religiously and take notes on everything that Michael Westen does, including what details to research that are left out of the show. That information is invaluable for either setting up plans and/or counters of my own, or anticipating what the hero might do and take the appropriate actions.
  51. The architect who planned my top-secret dungeon, its traps, and its escape routes is doomed from the moment he signed on. As are any external service personnel I absolutely must hire to provide upgrades, such as the poor sod who put in the central A/C.
    • Or just keep them captive under the threat of death should the heroes find the blueprints. If so, remember to give them a happy and secure living for them and their family and friends so they are not Driven to Suicide (of the cop kind).
  52. I will train regularly with my (most loyal) troops (using blunted weapons) and will not expect them to always lose to me. Instead, I will concentrate on genuinely improving my own abilities, until I am able to use The Dragon as my sparring partner on a regular basis. Not only will this improve our working relationship, but it will mean that in the event that he dies or Heel Face Turns, I am capable of holding my own against him and/or his killer. On a similar note, I will suggest to The Dragon that he teach an apprentice, or at the very least, train The Brute and any Psychos For Hire we may contract. This will help to increase group cohesion, and will also ensure that in the event that any one of the above Heel-Face Turn, I will have at least one individual on staff capable of killing, or at least seriously injuring them.
  53. I will make myself look as human as possible, looking demonic/Angelic, or like any sort of Beast Man will, while it makes me look intimidating, will, ultimately, make it easier for the heroes to kill me when/if the time comes.
  54. I will make sure that The Dragon is not my only capable servant. The Brute will be a Genius Bruiser and a remorselessly loyal sociopath; if arrangeable he will also be good friends (or at least friendly rivals) with The Dragon, so that I can send them both after the heroes at once. If he is the leader of the Mooks he will also either forgo some of his cruelty in order to be a A Father to His Men, or (if totally evil) will at least be a competent strategist and leader, who the men can trust, and follow bravely; while the lowest ranking member of my inner circle, he will be kept up to date on plans so that he does not inadvertently sabotage them (and after all, he's likely to be my most loyal follower to boot, so why risk offending him?). My Evil Genius will be allowed to comment on any aspects of the plan that he thinks needs work (why have an Evil Genius otherwise?) and will also be given any cybernetic upgrades, Powered Armour, Super Serum, biological modifications, or Mecha-Mooks that he feels are necessary to give him combat abilities similar to those of The Brute and The Dragon. The Dark Chick will be a Chick. Specifically, she will be my Victorious Childhood Friend who has been playing Risk with me and helping me plan to conquer the world since we were five years old. She will be able to hold her own with the boys, and will have eyes only for me. As we are absolutly made for one another, I will of course listen to her advice (and adding a female viewpoint might not be a bad idea). At least one of the above will be a suitably Cold Sniper who can take The Hero down, without having to close in physically. If I am a Magnificent Bastard, other members of the Five-Bad Band will have Manipulative Bastard, The Chessmaster and The Trickster characteristics spread out among them. Not only will it prevent me from having to do all the work, but it will mean that there are multiple people who can point out problems with my plans. None of them will be a Smug Snake, or if they are they will be of Lord Cutler Beckett level effectiveness, meaning that they are still useful to me, and will have plans only slightly less brilliant than my own. They will all be Dangerously Genre Savvy, and know that betraying me will only ensure their own defeat in the long run.
  55. I will plan according to my budget. If I do not have the money to design and mass produce the kind of technology required for many of the above precautions or if I don't have the good managers required to supervise my minions and make sure they actually follow protocol at all times, I will try to find a less expensive option and fix what I can.
  56. I will not, under any, ANY ciricumstances, squander a superpowerful female soldier, loyal to me due to love and capable of one-shotting tanks by looking at them funny, by having her destroy herself in an effort to kill the entirety of my enemy's military. Especially if the enemy has one more or less just like her. I shall find a way to keep her in the field. Superpowerful women - loyal ones particularly - are extremely hard to come by. I'll make sure to... reward her as I (and, quite importantly, she) sees fit. This takes care of both my powerful superweapon and lovelife departments.
  57. Any idea which crosses my mind which seems to only be there because I think it would be cool, regardless of practicality or good sense will be ignored. Yes, developing bands of minions to act to popular character types would be pretty neat, but I wouldn't want to be distracted from my overall plans by the little things.
    • That's what lieutenants exist for. If the Overlord finds out there's no underlings competent enough to pull such side-projects and loyal enough to put them in charge of that much, this should be considered an emergency in and of itself.
  58. If a minion or civilian suggests something that is halfway decent, I will give him the credit for a good idea, rather than just stealing it. That way, if it fails, I can finger-point.
  59. I will offer top-notch dental and medical benifits, as well as a GI's Grant. Loads of people sign up for that sort of thing.
  60. I will invest in man portable miniguns, and make them standard issue. That way, I've got More Dakka and Multi Directional Barrage without sacrificing Revolvers Are Just Better. Close-combat weapons will be chainswords. I will also see about cramming these onto armored vehicles.
  61. If, for whatever reason, I need to talk with the hero while holding him at gunpoint, I will not use 500 Mooks pointing pistols at him. This not only consumes space, but makes it more likely that the bullets will hit other mooks or myself, as per Conservation of Ninjutsu. I will not use a single highly trained marksman, as the hero will most likely be able to dodge bullets. Instead, I will use three highly trained marksmen. One to shoot at him from the front where he expects it, one to shoot him after he dodges the first bullet, and one with a machine gun to completely obliterate the corpse.
  62. If I know of a possible hero beginning his quest, I will make sure to fill his group of True Companions with my minions. The Non-Human Sidekick will be the Sleep Mode Size of one of my hulking guard-beasts. The Obi-Wan will follow my Religion of Evil, and will surreptitiously leave details out, like the fact that the Seven Prismic Jewels, when put in the altar, will give me ultimate power instead of summoning my weakness. Not only will the scantily-clad Action Girl be a Horny Devil in my employ, the White Mage will be one, too. Betty and Veronica as Morton's Fork, plus a subversion of Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains. I'll even have the travelling shopkeeper giving the hero weapons that will self-destruct on my command. None of these will be implemented until the hero had defeated my weakest form, and I pretend to die instead of going One-Winged Angel. They will also all have anti-Heel-Face Turn measures taken. In the event that the hero is able to fight off the entire rest of his Five-Man Band, plus all his quirky allies, they will all be "revealed to be evil copies," and the hero will "free the real ones." These will all be clones with the exact same powers and programming as the originals, but that will be a little sneakier this time.
  63. All weaponry that can overheat and explode in my face will have a temperature-operated failsafe, that will render the weapon completely inoperable if removed or tampered with, except for repairs/upgrades (and no, jamming a coin in the fuse slot will not work). Said weapon will also have a simple yet effective cooling system. Any weapons that are powerful enough to one-shot my fortress will be permanently pointed outwards from it. If the ammo for this fortress-killing gun could be wired to explode, and still destroy my fortress, I'll put it in a bunker far enough away that the explosion will only destroy said bunker.
  64. My doomsday devices will not have a lengthy charge-up time, and will have a countdown timer just for show. They will be ready to use as soon as the hero waltzes into my control room. In addition, the conspicious 'off' button will activate the device immediately.
  65. If I take up playing an instrument, I will stay away from the Ominous Pipe Organ.
  66. I will familiarize myself with the technique known as Obfuscating Stupidity, and I will use it frequently. If the hero is Genre Savvy, he or she will be afraid and think twice before attacking. If not, I get an easy kill.
  67. I will bring Mooks into my army by funding their education at my nation's top school, thereby ensuring they are intelligent and capable of quick thinking. I will put them through Training from Hell, and I will use it to forge them into one large group of True Companions. I will also select the best soldiers for membership in an elite group based on the US Marine Corps, and they will be the first responders to any emergency.
    • This elite force will not be the first enemy the heroes face in a large-scale battle. On the contrary, I will arrange my armies with the least capable soldiers in the front and have the most Badass soldiers as my personal bodyguards. By the time the heroes reach them, they will have exhausted their energy on my immense army.
      • On the other hand, if there is any kind of experience-based level-up mechanic at play that would allow the hero to become more skilled by defeating progressively stronger opponents, I will make sure he cannot leave his village without encountering my strongest forces. There's no point in giving him free training.
    • If the "Stop Having Fun" Guys bitch about you "cheating" if you beat them while using a tactic, it becomes SOP.
  68. I will always value a small force of capable people (read: able to cause more than a few minutes' setback to the hero) over a vast army consisiting largely of weaker mooks. While I admit that low maintenance cost is certainly a draw, I am not getting my money's worth if the hero dispatches my minions without easily or I am forced to shoot them myself as they come to me to report their failure. Even if I wanted to use their high numbers for terrorizing the populace, it creates bad precedent if my minions are seen as incompetent jerks rather than representatives of my own fearful self. I need the hero and others to think twice before attacking anyone wearing my uniform, rather than gaining self-confidence through small victories against my forces.
  • If I am some form of vampire, I will calculate the amount of nourishing substance I need per day, divided by the amount one person can safely give. Multiply that number times the number of days it takes to fully recover from the draining. This tells me the minimum number of willing donors I should cultivate. (Un)life is much easier when I'm not leaving corpses all over the place.
    • If my bites suck, I will take steps to fix this, or at least explore topical anesthesia.
      • If my bites turn people into new vampires, I will do everything within my measures to fix this. It thins out my foodstock and creates more potential vampiric evil overlords to concurrence me. Corollary if my type of vampire induces a hivemind structure.
    • My donors will be treated very well, and compensated for their service. They will most certainly not be treated like cattle. The more I put into making them loyal, the more power I have. They will not only not help any misguided heroes slay me and end the good thing we've got going, they might recruit friends.
    • Summation: Inferior species or not, my particular food source has thoughts and feelings. I'd do well to remember that.
    • I will consider the benefits and the disadvantages of sparkling. It draws a lot of fangirls to me that can be used to form my army (see above) while convincing almost everybody else that I am not a real vampire and thus not a threat. On the other hand, it ravages my credibility.
  • I will never wait with renewing whatever it is that sustains my life, but will do it as early and as often as possible. If my unlife requires that I sacrifice a virgin every full moon then there will be a harem of virgins kept well fed and treated but always prepared in different locations. Holding off the search until the last minute will just make me do something really stupid, like go after the hero's girlfriend merely out of desperation.
  • If my pet Mad Scientist manages to cook up a group of Frankensteins Monsters or non-human-based Super Soldiers that happens to have full sentience, with all the emotions and capacity for grudge-holding that entails, I will make sure to post a non-discrimination clause in the next set of Edicts. It would be disastrous if they turned on The Empire (or worse yet, sided with The Hero) because I let them be treated as sub-human.
  • Any secret agents or otherwise heavily trained soldiers from a distant land will be considered threats to my power.
  • If I have to poison someone with a drink, I should have a drink that is a different color than the drink of the person I'm trying to poison. Or alternatively, use a poison I am already immune to, or barring that, have an anti-toxin ready ahead of schedule. The latter two cases have the added advantage that I can poison both drinks so the hero can't switch them.
    • If more than two people are there, this rule applies to my minions too.
  • Of course, if I have been reading this, I have taken precautions necessary to avoid having to use a One-Winged Angel form anyways - this is a last resort. But if I happen to have a One-Winged Angel form I am aware of, I will make sure, if possible, to actually test it for combat performance BEFORE taking on The Hero. If the form ends up hindering me instead, it shall NOT be used. Similarly, I shall make sure to check if my One-Winged Angel form is compatible to fight the hero. So, if I can transform into a shadow demon immune to nigh all harm, but who cowers at the mere mention of a holy spell, and my enemy happens to be a holy paladin, this form shall NOT be used.
  • Before I turn myself to the Dark Side I will at least confirm that it does in fact have the overhelming power that it promises. If it turns out that with greater power comes a price that will leave me at a huge disadvantage, or that it it can not actually defeat Light at its purest, or that possessing it carries with it a crippling vulnerability towards all things Good, then I will choose instead some other means to make my Reign of Evil a reality.
  • Facing The Hero is of course preferable to avoid, but if am driven to do so, and if I/My Humongous Mecha/whatever I use to fight The Hero happens to be almost invulnerable, but possesses a weakness only revealed when a particular attack is used, it goes without saying this attack shall NOT be used (unless he somehow manages to attack through the armor anyways), even if I have to punch the sucker to death. This sounds pretty obvious, but you wouldn't believe how many Nigh Invulnerable Evil Overlords lose their lives because they decided to put their precious time before their safety and blast the hero down with their special attack, leaving themselves wide open.
    • In addition, no Humongous Mecha will be built to look like myself or the hero. Modelling it after myself is just making me a larger target, and modelling it after the hero is only giving him more incentive to blow it up with me inside it.
    • It also goes without saying that I shall not stand inside a room full of deadly traps that can kill me. Even if I think they will kill the hero. I just WON'T. They WILL be turned against me instead, heroes know how to do that. There's cautious, and then there's bloody ridiculous. Mooks in my room (ones able to aim, obviously) is OK, in fact it's GOOD. Standing on a bridge over lava with a button/axe to fling the whole thing down into the lava right behind me is NOT.
      • If for any reason I actually do want to create such a room, I will start a rumor that it is my real hideout and have a copy/hologram/illusion of me standing on the bridge, so that when the hero goes ahead and steps on it, the whole thing collapses with him and falls into the lava, while I watch this through a security camera/crystal ball from a safe distance. And by safe, I mean a few dozen kilometers.
  • I will always remember the motto: "Overkill is good, overconfidence is not." If I kill a hero, I will not relax until I detonate his body to pieces, incinerate the pieces, fling the ashes into outer space (or better, into another dimension), and exorcise the site.
  • Spikes of Villainy will be used, especially if the hero is a Personal Space Invader
  • My prison guards will be under a general order to never leave their post unless ordered by me personally; they will also be ordered to keep this order a secret and to feign obedience if told to leave their post until out of earshot, at which point they will call for backup.
  • Loud alarms in my base are reserved only for when an approaching army is sighted. If an infiltrator or The Hero is sighted, a silent alarm will be raised and guards will simply visibly patrol - but not appear to notice, let alone chase after - the infilitrator, instead using the visible patrols to force the infiltrator into the dungeon, where they will be met with a full complement of my Elite Guard.
  • If I build a secret room into a house, it will be underground, not behind a secret wall where anyone with a blue print or a decent sense of dimensions and spatial relations can spot it.
    • I will also make sure the hero's Plucky Comic Relief cannot find the secret room by stumbling around and tripping into it.
  • My security cameras will be placed in such a way that the hero cannot be out of sight by standing directly under the camera mounting.
  • Just in case a hero has someone to take the bullet for them, I will always have an extra bullet more than I need to execute heroes. Furthermore, I will capitalize on the time it takes the hero to hear the rescuers last words to line up my next shot and kill him.
  • Everyone will be accountable for their movements, and everyone must be accounted for at all times. Besides my closest advisors, everyone's whereabouts must be kept tracked. Therefore, I will use a hidden finger scanner on all doors and before all traps, to allow for easy access for me and my close advisors, so safe escape is possible. I will also implement a non-hidden two key card system for anyone else. Any guards that have to pass through a trapped area must clock in before their shifts before being allowed clearance to go anywhere. They will be given a key card with a certain number of allowances. Each allowance, when swiped through the scanner, disables one trap or opens one door one time. Each guard will be given exactly how many allowances they need for any particular shift. Guards will travel in groups, each guard in a group will get a portion of the total amount their group needs, so if at any point a guard is killed and their key stolen, they will not get far. Allowances are specific to one area and must stay within that area. The second card will be the safety card. Each guard will be required to frequently and regularly swipe their safety card at a specified time and at specified intervals, the schedule of which is to be kept a personal secret, different for each guard. Should these intervals not be punched, or punched at the wrong time, an alarm will immediately be triggered. If a guard does not punch in or out for the day, an alarm will be triggered. If a person is out of allowances and tries to use more, an alarm will be triggered. If allowances are used in the wrong area, an alarm will be triggered. With all of these steps in place, it is literally impossible to kill a guard and eventually not trigger an alarm.
  • Local bands will be screened for magical instruments they just happened to find at a garage sale or the local pawnshop. Any band that has one, I will hire immediately to do my theme music, thus adding Power of Rock to my arsenal.
  • If the history of my world follows a series of cycles, especially those of a metaphysical nature, I'll establish a special team of experts to find a way to break the cycle without losing my empire. If they insist that the end of my rule is inevitable, I'll search for a way to A) fake my death, B) establish a cult promising my messianic return, and C) preserve my body until the world is once again ready for me to take over.
  • I will order all copies of this document, and all subsequent derivatives, to be destroyed with the exception of a master copy which will remain in my safe deposit box for reference.
  • You know those things that Firefighters wear that sounds an alarm when they don't move for more than a minute, or fall flat? The mooks should have those too.
    • Also, these devices should have their frequency and tone updated regularly to stop Tech-Savvy Heroes from exploiting it
  • As an alternative to's Rule 19, I will offer a bounty for the hero's capture. However, it will be made clear that if the capture was a collective effort, then each participant will be well rewarded. It'll be a little pricier, but who cares. With the hero out of the way, I'll have all the money I want. It's an investment.
  • If the setting allows, I will turn myself into a powerful, free-willed undead who can ressurect after being killed again, such as a Lich. This way, I'll just keep coming back. My Soul Jar, will of course, be under heavy guard in an unbreachable room, with doors that only be opened from inside. If possible, I will construct multiple Phylacteries.
    • Disguise is also very effective at keeping one's Phylactery safe. Making them out of simple bricks and throwing them into the construction materials will ensue that they are never found.
  • If the object in which I have stored most of my power/my life can only be destroyed in one particular area, that area will be heavily guarded 24/7. I don't care how unlikely it is that the heroes would make it there, if there's even a 1 in 1000,000 chance, then it's not worth taking. If the place happens to have only one entrance, it will be guarded by a door that is magically sealed to open only to me and some especially trusted (and probably mind-controlled) minions.
    • I will make sure never to leave that area unguarded, even if there's some self-proclaimed king of Gondor knocking at my door to taunt me with an army that clearly is no match to mine. As much as I want to throw the bulk of my army at them in response, chances are it's a trap.
  • If possible, I will hire the Slender Man and CandleJa... herm Mr Candle. Did somebody call my name? I'll be happy to work for you since I have become a Discredited Meme.
  • My soldiers will immediately destroy any towers and church steeples they encounter, as these are great sniper-blinds.
  • I will not torture or kill the Hero's True Companions in front of him. This limits the chance that his hidden powers, Deadly Upgrade, or Superpowered Evil Side will activate and kill me. I will take special care not to provoke the hero after I have the fight won. If the hero absolutely must be taken alive, I will do everything in my power to break his resolve, and take no chances at restoring it.
  • I will have a large group of highly-trained snipers guarding all sides of my fortress from any conceivable angle. One third of them will have laser sights. The rest will have scopes.
  • All powered armor, mechs, and battleships (both of the seafaring and spacegoing variety) will have point-defenses, even if such measures are largely worthless. Better safe than sorry. Besides, it's the thought that counts, and it will make them think twice about jumping onto the cockpit and firing their gun/insanely overpowered bow at point-blank if an independently-targeted minigun can saw them in half before they even land.
    • This also applies to my fortress.
  • Repeat after me: I will not Shoot the Messenger. I will not shoot the messenger. I will not shoot the messenger. No matter how bad the news they have brought me is. While this is an excellent way to enforce my evil credentials, it creates several practical problems. For example, if I kill everyone who brings me bad news such as "the Hero has stolen the MacGuffin", then they will waste valuable response time arguing over who has to tell me. And as I need to hear things like that promptly so I can launch missions to get the Mac Guffin back with speed, or react to any bad news given with similar alacrity, I will be pleasantly apathetic to any messenger, no matter what news they bring. That way, no one will care whether they get messenger duty or not. However, it will be made clear that every messenger must move as fast as they can on pain of severe punishment (or permanent desk duty, whichever they think is worse).
  • Likewise, the price of failure is not death. That just makes people cover up their failures or even switch sides. The price of failure is a compliment for a good try, a reprimand for a bad try or transfer to a more suitable position. Failure to immediately report your own failure is punishable by death.
  • I shall avoid the idiocy of that Australian strategist who defected to the Muge Empire and not treat the women who decide to join me out of love as disposable. I also will not be a Bastard Boyfriend to the one I keep and drive her away from me to the point she does a Heel-Face Turn, and if I happen to screw up and leave one alive so she can later hold me at gunpoint, I will not laugh insanely and claim A God Am I. Instead, when she asks me if I really did feel something for her, I will, depending on her gullibility, tell her I did have feelings, I had a change of heart, then get her to join me as another henchwoman, or, assuming she isn't that forgiving, still claim I had feelings for her, but use the time while I frame my response to shoot her before she can reconsider shooting me.
    • What do you mean "no evil laughing"? Why else does an evil overlord commit atrocities if not For the Lulz? If I must laugh, I will be sure the doors are locked and I am in absolute private.
    • Excuse me, I shall clarify. I shall do no evil laughing in a situation where some pissed off heroine whose leaning on the fence on whether I need to be shot gets the resolve to do the deed while I'm laughing in her face. An Evil Laugh is perfectly fine as long as I have (A) suckered her into believing me and I'm later by myself or (B) after I shot her and I'm positive that she's dead. Then, I'll laugh all I want.
  • Rule 4 will be not only my personal guideline, but also an official policy for my troops and guardians. There will also be a policy to always employ Double Tap.
    • Or, since even that might not be enough, I might as well empty an entire clip into my enemy, just to be safe.
  • Rather than use the evil fortress approach, I will base my activities out of a reasonably-sized office suite that hosts a variety of offices for more legitimate businesses. The heroes will be unable to attack my fortress that way without being guilty of slaughtering every other innocent person that works there.
  • I will not employ large, slavering, black three-headed dogs who can be won over with honey to guard my Ultimate Weapon. Rather, I will employ small, fluffy squirrels, who just so happen to eat meat and travel in carnivorous packs, and will massacre the hero before he realizes his folly.
  • I will never, ever tell any of my minions or henchmen "I don't pay you to think." Yes, it's true that people who think too much might be a threat to my authority, but if I wanted a mindless robot, I'd make or hire a mindless robot.
  • If my incredible power was gained at the discretion of another being, say a genie, and I have some number of wishes left, when the hero tells me that something (the genie/the nix/whatever I am currently forcing to do my bidding) is more powerful than I am, instead of flying into a jealous rage and wishing to become a more powerful version of that being without any regards for the consequences I will thank the hero for his concern, proceed with killing him, and then carefully weigh the pros and cons of becoming said being.
  • If I encounter a life-form able to naturally weaponize the greatest weakness of both myself and my minions, I will ascertain if they intend to kill me or simply drive me off. If the former, I will have one captured and have my pet Mad Scientists tailor a plague to them. If the latter, so much the better, as I now have a way to build up an immunity, just pick on them every few days. However, if they act to impede me to a significant degree, and my sibling keeps dumping his/her incredibly loud and bitchy problem child on me, I will assume he/she's using me to permanently dispose of the kid and use it in a virgin-child sacrifice to call forth an entity (or entities) able to dispose of the first group of life-forms. If my sibling keeps his/her brat home, I will use my most incompetent minion.
  • If there is a hero that has repeatedly foiled my plans in the past, and I have the resources for it, I will consider building a fake stronghold, whether this be an underground lair, floating fortress or orbital space station. I will make it seem as if this fake stronghold is actually the base of my operations, and put a few token guards outside for appearances sake. When the hero attacks the "stronghold" in expectation of a climactic showdown with me, they will instead find the place utterly deserted - save for the ton of explosives set to go off the moment they step inside. This base will also be equipped with blast doors that'll lock down once the guards are clear.
  • If I hear of a prophecy that says a certain person shall defeat me, I will NOT command my army to go out and kill every person that matches that description. I might end up missing one who'll get mad at my needless slaughtering and come to defeat me.
    • If said person is a child or doesn't hate me yet, I will take him/her in to train as my fanatically loyal Dragon. This way they won't have a reason to try to kill me, I will get to use their incredible prophesied powers for my own benefit and a chance to quickly get rid of them if things get out of hand.
  1. Should I discover how and thus decide to split my soul, I will NOT keep the parts in unique and glorious items. Instead, I will use grains of sand in the Sahara and the Atlantic Ocean, and a small chunk of ice in the Arctic. And a screw on one of NASA's deep space probes.
    • Or, if possible, the Earth itself. This would make me functionally immortal, and anyone attempting to kill me would have to destroy the Earth, thereby killing everyone on it, to do it- making me the lesser of two evils.
    • Alternatively, should I insist on using a unique/glorious/special/etc Soul Jar/s, I will not- repeat NOT- put these in places specific to my past and moments of power, such as a dreary cave where I scared two children from the same orphanage as I into permanent muteness, the old family home, and my old school. Instead, I will hide them in plain sight, such as a trophy room, for nobody would expect me to hide them where they could be easily obtainable.
  2. Should I ever meet the hero, I will instantly pretend to be my own "good" twin, then offer to lead them to my "evil twin's" lair. My mooks will "kidnap" me when we approach, and thus lead the hero and his party into a trap.
  3. I will not have long hair, because it is so very difficult to maintain properly, and because it gets in the way in the same mannerisms as capes. Should I persist in the long hair, I must secure it properly, so that it may not snag or be grabbed by the hero.
  4. I will ensure that birthdays are celebrated adequately, and that there is at least one fun thing every week (eg, Funny Hat Fridays, Sunday Charades, etc). This will improve morale and keep everyone happy and amused. There will always be prizes for anything that could be humiliating. Also, if the hero walks in on a group of people playing charades where someone is impersonating a goose, he will think twice about it being his nemesis's fortress.
  • I will not create my hideout to look as such, tempting as a large black fortress on a hill with its own weather would be. It will look very normal outside and mostly in, except it will be quite large (on the inside only, naturally). This way, the hero won't be able to pick out my hideout immediately. This is why people make Elaborate Underground Bases.
  • If a person carrying an oddly-coloured sword walks into my kingdom, I will take a vacation elsewhere until that sword is out of my kingdom and not make any friendly or unfriendly overtures to the wielder. If the sword is black, I will move to another dimension and never return.
    • If that person is albino and a Defector from Decadence, I'll kill myself and save him the trouble. And count myself lucky to have got away so lucky.
  • I will be aware that many of the suggestions on this list are a way of digging my own grave, such as the giant robot that is totally invulnerable (the hero will find some way to turn it on me at some point, taking control of it and leaving me with no way to fight back), and by the same means if there is a weak point the hero will find it. Therefore, I will never invest too much in one thing, and instead diversify, to keep him guessing.
  • Furthermore, I shall note that as nice as it would be to have a perfect plan with no possible way of going wrong, I will keep in mind that nothing kills my credibility like a case of Orcus on His Throne, and will be sure to be enough a man of action to still get things done, even if everything isn't perfect, and there are still flaws for the heroes to exploit. I'll just keep the plans possible weakpoints in mind, and try to minimize them.
  • If ever at the mercy of the Hero, I will play up any and all unpleasant childhood experiences I had, whether that involves sexual abuse or that my parents got me a different breed of pony than I had asked for. That way, the Hero will be forced to believe that my evilness is only because of my upbringing and not really my fault at all, giving me the opportunity to escape.
    • I will not, however, taunt the Hero as I escape by explaining to him just how little my childhood had to do with my evil choices; I may need to exploit this again in the future.
  • Above and beyond the warning about ventilation ducts, I will not include any structure, area, or design in any of my installations that serves no obvious architectural or aesthetic purpose besides allowing the heroes an alternate path — no catwalks that go nowhere but provide footholds, no entirely pointless machinery to climb, no convenient handholds that serve no obvious purpose besides being convenient handholds.
    • I WILL however employ such installations as long as they lead into unavoidable death traps.
    • I will also avoid adding any area to my installations that cannot be accessed by my guards if needed.
  • A valid alternative to the prior rule on prison keys is to place the Hero in a dungeon filled with loyal mooks disguised as horribly tortured and scarred prisoners. If we are operating on a tight budget, I will simply find very ugly townspeople (Preferably deaf too, Heroes always have a way of getting people to convert over...) who think the hero is a Complete Monster and give them a Savings Bond to be cashed in when I take over the world if they stay in a jail cell for a few hours. I will also be leaving the heroes' key and their keys within view of the hero. Odds are the Goody-Goody is going to try to free all of those poor souls, only to get shanked in the back the second he turns around. This WILL NOT work if we are dealing with a Blood Knight, Anti-Hero, or a Jerkass
  • If I realize I exist in a video game (particularly a JRPG). I will not:
  • Even if all my advisors agree that no-one could survive the blow I have just dealt to the hero, I will still chop his head off for good measure.
  • If I'm ever seriously injured, I will fake being knocked stupid.
  • There will be large area in my fortress that's used as a habitat for the aforementioned Horny Devils. Chance is, while I would like to have all mook with libido supressed, overcoming the strongest instinct may be impossible. And since neither rape nor harem are allowed in my empire, this area will be where my underlings take a visit when they're in heat. To maximize its usage, it will be impossible to get in inner area of my fortress without passing through this area. Whoever wants to get pass it without get dragged sideways must get my permission first, then there will be robots or golems (depending on setting) sent to escort them. The golems/robots will be built with a rare and precious metal that no rebel would dare thinking about building one from, yet are totally useless otherwise. The dwellers of the Pleasure area will be instructed to not bother with whoever is escorted by the golems/robots, but everyone else coming to this area are free game. I will even put large warning on the entrance, so if those heroes/heroines end up become playthings of the succubi, it won't count as rape.
    • And if possible, I will import said monsters from the world of The Monster Girl Encyclopedia.
    • Such entities will be transported in containers clearly marked "200 lbs. RAPE (rush delivery, live animal)", so no-one... screws with them.
  • If I am told a prophecy that only one of my most trusted lieutenants can ever kill me, I will not order an assassination attempt on their family, thus antagonizing them into wanting to kill me and probably making him into a Hero by default, or order a hit on him that will enrage his family into taking up arms against me. I will instead give them an unlimited credit card that I pay the bill for, under the condition that it will be taken away from them if they move to/stay in my capital city.
    • This also applies to a prophecy of a certain forest making its way to my fortress. I'll have it clear-cut and turned into lumber, then shipped to a building site in... basically, anywhere but my Empire.
      • On second thought, I will have a giant barbecue for my subjects. Sending it elsewhere will just have it return in the form of battering rams. The ashes will be disposed of in the ocean, exactly halfway around the world away from me.
  • All of my robot clones will be built to act like the real thing. Any robot that says something like "Good morning, Steven Ulysses Perhero. I am most definitely your sister, and not a clone designed by The Empire to spy on you." will be sold for scrap.
  • I will weigh the benefits and drawbacks of owning an outfit made from human skin. On the one hand, it ramps the Intimidation factor Up to Eleven. On the other, any self-respecting human rights organization will not be pleased.
  • I, too, will learn and master the art of "Quick Save" and "Quick Load." If the hero can manage this in the universe where I rule, surely I can figure it out as well.
  • In the lobby of my fortress of evil, I will have all my gas-mask wearing, ultra-evil elite mooks stand next to bright red barrels labeled "Danger: Explosive!" The barrels will be filled with a poisonous gas which will not explode when shot, punctured, or thrown at high speed, but will fill the room with the instantly lethal gas, killing those which are not wearing gas masks.
  • If I use mutated biological supersoldiers, I will not make the prototype my trusted lieutenant, due to being just that; a prototype; they have a tendancy to go insane. After field tests prove successful, I will kill him and raise a more stable, advanced version from infancy like my own child so that they won't grow up resenting me or become apathetic enough to betray their own family. I will tell them bluntly about their origins so they don't Go Mad from the Revelation later in life, but let them know it doesn't matter, and that I love them all the same (this will be a lie, however, forming attachments to someone you intend to send to war against the hero is asking for heartbreak, and engineered supersoldiers can be easily replaced when you have the formula).
    • Should I mass produce an army of them, I will actively make them weaker, less intelligent and more instinctual than the trusted one so he or she still feels as though they're the best, and the generic ones won't see him/her and become jealous and loathesome of us. As far as the generics go, I will Always adhere to rule 48, just in case.
    • Should I recieve word my trusted supersoldier has died in the field, I will request them to find their body and make sure they are, in fact, dead before I make a new trusted supersoldier, if they aren't dead and see me with their replacement, it will reveal my lies to both of them, giving me not one, but two new enemies.
  • Having an ominous music that screams finality, nice as it is, tends to give the heroes the resolve to continue all the way through my citadel and confront me. Instead, when they invade, I will begin playing elevator music, which is much more likely to exhaust and depress the heroes (Resolving music is fine any other time, if you blast elevator music 24/7 your guards will permanently suffer the psychiatric effects of prolonged listening to it, the heroes are the targets, not the legion of evil).
  • I will hire Asians, African Americans, Women, and Latinos into my Legion of Terror but no white males. When the hero comes to stop me I will inform every single civil rights group and female equality group I can find that there is a sexist white supremacist attacking my employees.
    • Sorry to poke a hole in your plan, but what if he points out to said organizations that you are being descriminatory yourself?
    • Scratch this, I will simply be an equal opportunity employer. As long as I have enough of the aforementioned categories in my army I can still play the civil rights card, but the hero will not be able to yell discrimination.
  • When hiring new employees, I will tell them that their stealth ops uniform is neon pink. Anyone who tells me how impractical that is will be promoted immediately.
  • I will take a fairly neutral stance on Transhumanism. It will not be mandatory, nor will non-modified citizens be discriminated against. It will also not be illegal to undergo Cyborgization or Bio-Augmentation. That way, I can tell if I'm in a No Transhumanism Allowed Author Tract; and adapt accordingly.
  • If I catch a case of the Idiot Ball and accept the hero's love interests' offer to become my consort, I shall never stop being suspicious of her, no matter how much time passes. Should she ever ask me the location of my Soul Jar, source of power, or one weakness, I will lie. She should not be able to find out that I have pointed her to a fake easily, lest I lose her loyalty if she is loyal. However, if she attempts to destroy or steal the fake Soul Jar or source of power, it will instantly detonate, taking her down with it.
  • If one of my Lieutenants turn out to be a Starscream, I will kill him, cut off his head, impale his head on a stake, and nail a sign on said stake that reads: "I do not tolerate double-crossing-back-stabbers", for such people tend to be more trouble then they're worth.
  • I will Never Ever try to take over the world by using a children's card game.
  • If I ever start a Monster Protection Racket, the Super Soldiers assigned to it will be mentally conditioned to react to certain words so they never cross me. These phrases will be taught to their handlers, who will be trained to only use them in the most direst of circumstances, in absolute private if at all possible. They will also be extensively studied if they are prone to horrible mutations from over-using their superpowers.
  • The public will be made fully aware of any genetic engineering attempts, and assured that all subjects are clones of volunteers who are able to successfully be experimented upon, and are not tortured in any way. If this is a lie, any civilian that attempts to enter a testing facility will be escorted out under the lie that the facility workers need absolutely unchanging work environments, or, if unable to be removed, executed. If not a lie, tours through facilities will be permitted following thorough background checks. Said tours are to be reserved no less than one week in advance, so as to improve security of facility, and plan out route to avoid crucial locations within the facility that could be applied to an attack plan.
  • I will never write an autobiography based entirely in truth.
  • If I use Gas Mask Mooks, I'll spring for air-supply type masks, rather than filter-cartrige. I mean, as long as we're giving our minions the best equipment we can...
  • If my minions detect a creature parasitising energy from the entire planet, I will not give into my urge to use it to run my superweapon. I will tell them to build something to kill it, rather than super-parasitizing (a parasite that feeds on another parasite) said entity. Nothing good can come of letting such a creature live, nor will leeching off it end well. We'll see about using it as a battery when it's dead.
  • If I don't by default, I will treat understanding love, kindness and altruism as mission-critical. If I just can't get it, I will know to quit while I'm ahead.
  • I will resist building any Humongous Mecha, even if the Applied Phlebotinum required to make them work under the laws of physics is cheap. Chances are it can be used on my smaller, relatively Boring, but Practical weapons such as tanks, missiles, jet aircraft and helicopter gunships just as well, rendering them once again vastly superior.
  • If my primary enemies are a bunch of female minors with powers based on love, purity and such I will keep in mind that they are specialized in dealing with demons, warlocks, general wickedness and any assorted horrors beyond normal human comprehension but may be completely vulnerable to a bullet (or a missile) in the face. There is no need to meet them on their own terms, though making it appear that way by sending a demonic decoy with my hit squad is certainly an option. I'll also keep in mind that if my enemies are of this descriptions, I am in fact vulnerable to their powers for some reason, and any way of removing this vulnerability will be seriously considered, no matter my Evil Overlord status.
  • I will create a centralized licensing and registration system for all blacksmiths/gunsmiths/whoever makes weapons or stuff that can be used as weapons. I will make it illegal for ordinary smithies to sell swords, polearms, pikes, maces, crossbows, guns, and other such weapons. All arms sales will be registered and tracked. They must be done through weapons makers I personally approve of and have licensed and registered. They must pass loyalty and psychiatric tests.
    • While I will let just about anyone buy a gun, they must pass psychiatric and Hero Trope Tests. All failing will be executed. Also, under no circumstances can any weapons shop sell arms that are as good as or better than what I give my minions. The weapons sold must be either incapable of dependably and effectively killing my minions. Any armor sold must be inferior to what I give my minions.
      • I will have the only double action firearm in the realm.
  • All firearms I issue my minions must have several safety mechanisms, I do not want to have people getting hurt by accident, nor do I want for a treasonous person to be able to just lift his gun and kill me without having to take time to ready his gun.
    • The safeties are as follows (Note: I will not issue my standard Mooks revolvers as they lack most safety mechanisms):
      • #1: An external safety which prevents the slide from moving and must be manually actuated. This also may prove useful in the case of someone trying to assassinate me by stealing a gun from one of my minions.
      • #2: An external safety on the grip which forces the user to hold the gun properly. This will improve marksmanship and stop guns from accidentally going off in holsters.
      • #3: An internal safety which wholly covers the firing pin and blocks the hammer from falling.
      • #4: An internal safety which blocks the firing pin unless the trigger has enough pressure on it. This will stop the gun from going off in case if it gets dropped.
    • All guns issued to my minions will be different from anything on the civilian market. No semiauto mimics, models, toys, or weapons operated and shaped the same way.
      • All users manuals will be made in a language only me and my minions know. Cleaning kits will be issued separately from the guns and minions will be instructed to keep them separate from each other so that even if a gun is stolen, its usefulness will be limited.
      • There will be regular inspections to make sure that minions are taking proper care of their weapons. Anyone failing to do so will have their pay docked.
      • All guns used by my minions will be chambered for rounds which only they can use. This will prevent The Hero from stealing the weapons and being able to use them without having to face my army.
      • If any guns or ammo are reported missing- even if it's a single pistol bullet or a small training carbine, this will be dealt with like a serious emergency.
      • I will issue bayonets to all troops so that in case if they run out of ammo, they can still fight. Also, executing people with bayonets saves ammo and money.
      • No railguns or laser guns, as these have less safety features than chemical-cartridge firearms.
  • No matter how cool they look, mooks will not be issued flamethrowers, as they suck ass from both tactical and strategic standpoints.
    • I will invest in either a grenade launcher or shotgun (like the M203 or Masterkey) that can perform the rough job of a flamethrower. It's safer, and can do more - after all, flamethrowers only burn. A Shotgun can be used to breach doors, and a 40mm can also fire smoke and high explosives, as well as gas. Flexibility helps.
  • I will make sure that my Mooks are only issued practical guns. All guns which are tacticool will be sold only to civilians or to foreign lands which I am trying to undermine. Tacticool is where form outweights function to such a degree that the weight of the accessories mounted on the gun is greater than the weight of the weapon when it is loaded.
    • In general, tacticool implies that something is very superfluous and is unneeded. Therefore, when I and my people are reviewing potential new weapons and models for my army, every single part will have to be labeled and given a purpose. If the part is impractical or extravagant, then it comes off, no questions asked.
      • Alternatively, I can issue a few Awesome, but Impractical guns to lure the hero to get one and wield it, and subsequently prove no match for the more practical weapons of my minions. However guns that simply explode when fired are and will always be a more effective method.
  • Above all, I must come across as a Necessary Evil, or I must be a Villain with Good Publicity. Maybe I sacrifice one in ten baby girls born every year, but I do that so that demonic invaders do not flood the realm a-la 40K. If I make it clear to everyone that my regime is the only thing between them and unimaginable horrors, then they will come to the conclusion that living with a Fascist dictator who oppresses them is much better than living in Hell on Earth under the reign of The Devil or any other such enemy of all that I am preferable.
  • I will consider the pros and cons of sending a loved one into the field where dying is a possibility.
  • In inclusion to not screaming about immortality, I would do well to remember that in the grand scheme, there isn't such a thing as immortality, you can be invincible, you can be ageless, you can be both, but there will always be a way to shatter the magic and kill you, I will always keep this in mind no matter how assured my victory is.
    • Before pursuing immortality, I will make sure it's by a means I can turn off when I've had enough. Ruling my empire for a thousand years would be awesome. Outliving the solar system and being stranded in a universe that will eventually succumb to heat death/proton decay/big crunch/big rip would decidedly not.
  • If I beat the heroes to any sort of McGuffin that doesn't involve my own plans, I'll destroy the thing on the spot, not throw it into my dungeon in an easily accessed spot, the only exception will be if destroying the artifact will remove my powers.
  • I should note the heroes rarely if ever disrupt my plans as soon as they're getting off the ground. If I delay my plans I can take my sweet time fortifying my fortess, training my legions of evil, and kicking as many kittens as I want.
    • Which reminds me of the opposite extreme, if the heroes are wandering aimlessly or playing games at a carnival, I shouldn't wait for them to come to me before executing the final stage of my plan, I should just do it while they act like they have all the time in the world.
  • If The Power of Love is an actual, meta-physical phenomenon in my universe, I will have my mooks paired off and sent out as Battle Couples.
  • Before I start conquering the world, I shall watch The Simpsons episode "You Only Move Twice". Hank Scorpio may seem like a stereotypical Bond villain, but he knows how to treat his minions employees and so should I.
  • My guns will look almost exactly like NATO-standard weapons - and not the Steyr AUG, but the M16, M4, FAMAS, anything by FN Herstal, or any other typically "good" weapon. Because those are the weapons of professionals - and while I'll probably have a fair amount of conscripts, but they'll be well trained and taken care of.
    • These weapons will have the safeties described above, and will also use different ammunition than their identical counterparts, and will only externally resemble them - for instance, it looks like an M14 Carbine with a STANAG magazine, but the inside is a totally different recoil/gas combination operation and it does not fire 5.56x45mm NATO, but some specialized round only my troops use and has penetration more akin to the 5.45x39mm used by the Soviets, if not 5.45mm itself. Sure, it's common, but producing my own ammo comes with a downside: I can't use everyone else's bullets.
  • The corridor leading to my Artifact of Doom will be full of highly visible, sweeping laser beams that, using a complex pattern of dance moves, can be avoided. Breaking any of these beams will not trigger any alarm though. Their only purpose will be to distract intruders from the grid of invisible laser beams, placed one centimeter from one another, as well as the sound, heat and motion detectors.
    • Also there will be several fakes dotted in my different bases with the same lethalities around them and any and all transfers of the fakes and real ones should be regarded as if we have the hero chasing us with a gigantic army of the biggest weakness we have, and given maximum security at all times. This will make sure I have multiple strengths and will not be destroyed permanently if the protagonist steals a power focus of mine, I can just kill the hero and get it back in no time.
  • I will improve on every other villains ideas and potential villains ideas, including but not limited to this list.
  • I will occasionally try to not be evil to be evil, but to follow the purposes taught at H.I.V.E., any and all proper Genre Savvy-educational facilities, and actually check this Evil Overlord List once in a while. That means villainy, meaning being well capable of actively using all means to get what I want, moral, amoral, or just plain off the scale, and 'evil' is the same thing as getting a little violent, rude, theftious, or otherwise malicious in general to get what you want. The other type of villainy is being evil just to be mean and evil.
  • Should I attain victory, I will remember Victory Is Boring, and remember to stop myself from creating my own new nemesis just to keep me entertained; sports and video games work just as well to keep me occupied when there's nothing else to conquer.
  • I will not deny or undermine the effectiveness of cake-based cooking songs as a form of torture.
  • If I am in a world where there are multiple powers other than myself and my stated goal is not to explicitly to Take Over the World, I will always try to ensure that there is someone else out there who is a worse alternative than myself. In addition to the propaganda value for my minions and subjects, this will open up the opportunity to arrange a truce with the Hero as we take on a common threat. I can then manipulate the situation to my personal gain and relish every delicious moment of the Hero's angsty self-doubt over being forced into making such a morally questionable decision.
    • If I ever find myself in an Enemy Mine situation, I will not go back on any promises I have made to the Hero, either by actively backstabbing him or by endangering him through deliberate neglect. Being courteous and trustworthy in this one instance may be the only thing that saves me if I ever find myself at his mercy.
      • I will not accept any one-sided agreements, and I will adhere to the Exact Words of our agreement and no more if doing otherwise does not directly benefit me. If the Hero gets himself killed through his own stupidity then that's one less problem I have to deal with in the future, and if he somehow succeeds then I can rightly claim that helping him in that particular instance was not in our contract.
    • No matter how tempting it may be, I will not enter into any sort of pact with said worse alternative. Such pacts inevitably end in betrayal, and I will most likely be targeted by the heroes merely by association.
  • If I rise to power by being a Dragon Ascendant, I will not lash out if my former leader returns, odds are whatever helped him cheat death could turn me into a puddle of molten flesh in an instant. Instead, I'll return to serving him until I find what his weakness is and then direct the heroes to it so I can get him weakened enough to take him out and re-assert my new position (See example above about teaming up to get into the directing part further).
  • I will not use a horde of tiny killing machines to pacify a planet. Especially if the item that makes them ignore my troops has to be calibrated every so often.
  • If I use any sort of obscenely long and complicated deathtrap, I will make sure that, should escape ever be possible, I will have had it personally implemented. That way, when the hero thinks he's been smart and escaped through the Absurdly Spacious Sewer, or wherever it may lead, I will be waiting. With a gun.
    • If I've had to flee, my trusted lieutenant will be waiting. With a bigger gun.
  • Mind Control: None of it, EVER, even the most complex mind control can be broken easily with a bit of effort, Love/Friends or what have you, and merely the act of doing it will send you down a very, very quick spiral to a Karmic Death.
  • If I absolutely must have brainwashed henchmen, I will not give them the keys to my inner chambers.
  • Before I send my assassins to kill someone I will give them bags full of hair trimmings my mooks have collected from the local barber shop or other random genetic material to contaminate the crime scene with. This shows I care about the well-being of my employees so they are less likely to betray me. Besides good assassins are hard to come by.
    • Of course, if the assassin is a good one then chances are that they will already have taken measures to ensure that they are not found, so giving them the bag of genetic material would be an insult to their professionalism, which may result in my loss of the services of the assassin, so giving it to them would be counterproductive.
      • Also, this ensures that the bad assassins don't stay in the business, and that there is one fewer thing for me to worry about.
  • I will keep up good PR. If I find out a child has been orphaned, I shall take him in and politely ask if any family in the land can take him in. Until such time happens, I shall teach this child and spend time with him. This puts me off as a ruler who cares for his subjects. Any people convicted of a crime, except for ones such as rape or murder, shall be given a one time pardon, putting up a merciful mask. I will also make sure everyone can have a job, house, food, etc., and all poverty stricken areas are given immediate detection. That way, when said Hero or Rebel faction walks into the town to try and recruit, people will report him to the guards stationed nearby. After all, if your people are happy having you as a leader, why would they want to rebel against you?
  • If I find out that said prophecized person has been born in a village/town/city, I will immediately give that city my full attention. I shall repair all buildings, sewers, and public buildings. I shall set it up so said Hero's father is governor of that area, and constantly send that family, along with other Governor's families so not to make them jealous, gifts or supplies. I shall take special intrest in said Hero, raising him to become one of my trusted lieutenants, that way if he does eventually turn on me, I can distract him long enough of how I helped his entire family, and while he contemplates all I've done for him, promptly shoot him.
  • I will not believe any quote on the Tvtropes Additional Vows, as they are all lies.
  • I will remember the power of hope is not the exclusive virtue of the good guys (see Warhammer40000).
  • If The Hero attempts to construct or use mecha, I will first see where my universe stands on the sliding scales of seriousness versus silliness as well as the sliding scale of scientific hardness or softness. I will then respond accordingly.
    • In a silly universe, I will take advantage of the world's natural silliness. I will counter the the heroe's mecha by doing something silly like make it fall over a banana peel or bind all its legs with duct tape.
    • In a scientifically soft universe, I will go after enemy mecha with my own mecha using new, flashier designed painted red. Swords will be standard issue.
    • In a scientifically hard universe, I will do my best to avoid direct confrontations with enemy mecha. Rather, I will target the necessary but often undefended things that are needed for mecha, like production facilities, training centers, munitions plants, supply lines for the pilots, the ground crew, possible staging bases, and everything to do with fuel. Sure, a good pilot can flatten my mooks and Tank Goodness, but let's see him face my army when he's out of ammo, fuel, and spare parts.
      • Never let The Hero have one on one mecha fights. He always wins. If I have mecha, then it is to be organized into coordinated, tactically trained teams of professionals who operate under the command of an ace and a real time battlefield intelligence center. They will also be given air and infantry support.
    • I will never use mecha or tanks inside a city. There are too many places where they can get trapped or ambushed. For this sort of thing, infantry with close air support is much better.
    • My mecha designs will vary based on the nature of the world.
      • In worlds with greater allowance for fantasy, I will create designs that are appropriate. Super robots will be made accordingly. I will also not deliberately make a Super Prototype mech or two and make the rest all comparatively worthless. Remember, super prototypes are always stolen by the enemy, or otherwise studied, copied, and then used against me.
      • In more realistic worlds, I will hold onto the same lessons. My designs will trend more towards Mini-Mecha than Humongous Mecha. They will also be meant for higher mobility and as such, wheels may be used.
  • If possible and practical my one-winged angel will look like something that, instead of on the side of good or justice, harmless and rather relaxed but still retains all the power of the One-Winged Angel. If I turn into the general red-skinned devil, that is generally a red alert that I am evil, and if I turn into an angel then while I might deal a good deal of confusion on your enemy, I am still identifying myself as one who wishes to and has the power to harm or hinder to the hero. If I turn into, say, an anthropomorphic garden frog and then act laid back when confronting the hero in my new form, they will probably be confused at that moment allows me to unleash an attack that can severely cripple them. Not only that, but overall it's harder to take seriously when you are facing something that looks more goofy than what you would normally expect to see as a final form.
    • It might also be useful to pretend that I don't have any memory of my former self in my One-Winged Angel. If I can pull it off convincingly enough, they might just believe that I might be good to have around them as one of their own allies and I could learn information or get close items that swiping would do my cause more good in the end.
      • Also, depending on circumstances, the heroes might not tell anybody about my true background for one reason or another, meaning that if I can play it off my memory loss well enough, only the party of heroes will actually know of my background, and that would be a very good position to be in if I can find a way to get into contact with my empire without the heroes finding out.
  • I will impress on my mooks that stuffing an item down the crotch of your pants/underwear is a perfectly legitimate strategy for keeping it from the hero if the item is fit for it. I will make sure that a distinction is made, so that they know that paper is well hidden by this tactic, but the eyeball of a cyclops most likely won't work unless all the male mooks in the area naturally have a bunch of ungodly large crotch areas. If the world I am in isn't built on a fetish source then the crotch of pants/underwear is mostly likely not going to be searched, much less guessed as the hiding place of the important item/paper/notes that was supposed to be there.
    • Also, depending on the setting, it is possible that even if the hero and his party know where it is/where to look for it, they won't dare do it.
  • Self-preservation will always come before the plan, if I fail and everything starts to come down around me, I will not let pride get the better of me and go down with the ship or commit suicide, I'll drop what I'm doing and escape immediately.
  • I will never underestimate the advantages of good intel and high power sniper rifles. It may not be chivalrous or fair to shoot the hero in the back from miles away but I am more likely to succeed this way. If it does not work I will carry on trying at random intervals.
  • As an addendum to the vampire list farther up, if I'm any sort of creature that procreates by a Viral Transformation, I won't go changing people like mad just because I want the population up. They'll either; A). try to kill me if they embrace their nature so they can take my place. Or B). Loathe me for turning them against their will. In either case, if infecting for the sake of procreating is the only option instead of...other ways, I'll show extreme discretion, only change the willing, and/or wait until I'm significantly powerful enough to stave off any attempts on my life.
    • I will also not sire any half-breeds if procreation by reproduction is an option, I'll make my lover understand that having a half-breed son will end in my death and try to convince her to turn willingly.
  • I'll keep in mind which side of the gun usefulness spectrums the universe is on and train my minions accordingly.
  • My empire will embrace diversity and equality. No one will be discriminated against, because that leads to resentment, and we all know where that leads. Evil is equal opportunity. I will not hesitate to point out that the Hero's team is all or almost all young adult, human, white, male, English-speaking, Christian, pretty, athletic-looking, heterosexual, non-bolding, extroverted, able-bodied, non-retarded, hearing, sighted, non-twins, binary gender and without criminal record -whatever fits. His team is small and he cannot have token people for all types I could argue he discriminates against. With a bit of media control I can convince the public that stuff like "single-birth bias", "cis-gender privilege" and "non-tall discrimination" in the hero's team is the real problem, not the fact that my team is doing outright evil. I will practice saying such things with a straight face -because that is hard.
  • Refugees from anywhere will be subjected to strenuous background checks and psychological exams, but if they pass, I will make it clear to society that they are to be aided and helped, as they are now fellow citizens of the Empire.
    • My council of advisors will include people from other nations and people with access to the records of other nations, to better evaluate refugees and make sure no one's smuggling in rebels or assassins.
  • I will never, ever create technology that can bypass all security and lay bare the secrets of everyone, and drive the users insane so they can be controlled more easily. That shit not only gets you nowhere, it usually ends with rebellions and your creations being used against you.
  • I will endeavour to ensure that the quality of living for everyone in my empire is as high as possible. The standard of education will be very high, healthcare will be a priority, environmental protection will be encouraged, psychiatric care for everyone will be free, and the legal system will be carefully modified so that the innocent can be detected and the guilty punished.
    • All cases must have a five-year-old child on the jury. Careful attention is to be paid to everything that child says.
  • I will encourage parental loyalty, but if there's nothing to be loyal to, the child or children will be placed in foster-care.
    • I will make sure that all families are treating their children well.
      • The education system will enforce the idea that families are still families even if they aren't related by blood, so any adopted children do not Wangst about not being in a 'real' family.
  • I will endeavour to use reason to combat enemy tactics. For example, if a book must be banned because it is enemy propaganda, I will explain why to the public and point out passages that directly oppose the empire's values, or explain the possible consequences of people reading the novel.
  • I will give all possible aid to allied nations who need it, so that the hero will have trouble finding allies there who oppose me.
  • If I must kill someone and I know that the public will inevitably hear about it, I will explain why I did it and why it was unavoidable, placing emphasis on any treason, rebellion or other detrimental aspects of the victim's life.
  • In order to maintain public approval, I will endeavour to present myself at all times as someone who is willing to do their best and to tackle the unavoidable or the undesirable to protect or improve my nation, but not as a fanatic who will go to dangerous extremes or justify everything with 'it's for your own good'.
    • In addition, I will not insist that everyone in my nation approve of me, as long as they respect me.
  • I will not kill people just because they don't like me.
    • Dissenters will be allowed to explain why they are dissenting. If they have a point, I will rectify the problem.
  • Protestors or political opponents will not be automatically killed. First, I will listen to them and learn about their major point. If they're right, I'll fix it. If they're just stirring up trouble, they will be shot.
    • An alternative proposal: If someone feels some minor aspect of my rule (critical areas or areas of trust are excepted) is lacking, then I will consider whether or not to place this individual into the task of correcting said aspect. The self-motivated are best appeased by letting them have at it, and it lets me keep an eye on them.
  • I'll contemplate tossing out a few of these other personalities, their pursuit of genre savviness seems to be edging me more and more towards being a genuinely good leader instead of an evil overlord.
    "A truly evil ruler would build up a facade' of goodness to lull the people into a false sense of security, then BAM! off-world slavery."

    • As well, even if I don't intend to go as far as off-world slavery, I'm going to make a clear distinction about the job to everybody. I am an evil overlord, not a Jerkass by trade. If I must or want to kick a few puppies, so be it. But if I can prevent making everybody so unhappy that a HERO CAN COME ALONG AND GET EVERYBODY TO RALLY AGAINST ME BECAUSE OF MY BLATANT DISREGARD FOR THEM, then I'm all the better for it. Nothing wrong with a doomsday plot here, or a mass murdering there, but because my long-term goal is to become an overlord rather than a villain, having people who actually like me would help in the long run.
  • I will not live in my fortress, instead, I will hide in my grandmother's basement and have my fortress presided over by a robotic replica of someone I hate. This robot will do all the dirty work and, with luck, get killed by the heroes while I am safe to watch them hack it up.
  • I will not make any prison inescapable,in case I am trapped in it.
    • What if the hero escapes using this method?
    • I will avoid getting trapped then.
    • not going to work.
      • You can design an inescapeable prison with one exception of the one "darkest cell" at "lowest level" which as an Evil Overlord you would probably end in. You can design it so that it's doors are extreamly difficult to open yet there is a hidden way outside - thus if someone is escaping from anywhere else he won't be able to use that way.
      • There can be some wisdom to having a cell for my personal use. For this one cell only, there will be a secret one-way passage to some distance outside my lair if necessary (this makes it handy for me when I must seek another lair but inconvenient for heroes), but the point of the cell is that it will have all the bars and bolts on the inside. A certain Discworld potentate of mixed repute finds this technique to be rather handy when running the risk of being overthrown every so often.
  • If I am forced to have computers with password rather than the much more logical fingerprint/vocal interfaces, the passwords on all of them will be varying combinations of four regular words, as per XKCD. The passwords for these computers will be unique to all of my employees, and those who cannot remember their password will be restrained and examined by the best forensic investigators I can get (who will be provided with detailed descriptions of everyone who works with The Hero), before I will even consider reissuing a password. (If one of The Hero's partners can shape-shift, passwords will not be reissued).
  • I'll be on the look out for the Decoy Protagonist, if someone threatening my regime goes down quickly enough that I say "That was too easy." I'm probably right. I'll immediately investigate the family ties related to the person I just killed and go over the rest of the list to pick out the one who will most likely grow to be the revenge-seeking hero and act accordingly.
  • I'll also be on the lookout for the Supporting Protagonist, if my spies reveal the leader of the Five-Man Band coming for me doesn't have any real, discernable reason for wanting my death besides the generic evil overlord deeds, I'll direct my resources away from him to the others and try to find out who the real hero/chosen one among them is.
  • Continuing from this one: "I will not offer a bounty for the hero's capture. Henchmen have a pesky tendency to fight each other over these rewards."
    • If I must offer a bounty, I will spread it evenly among the henchman should one find him, as well as giving them a greater reward than a civilian. This has the added benefit of being a great campaign for henchmanship, increasing my evil army. Of course, these henchman will still be checked to ensure competence and allegiance.
  • I will always assume that my evil plans can fail at any given point, whether it be anywhere from before it begins to moments before it's completion, and plan accordingly. Also, I will keep Murphy's law in mind.
    • Also, I will remember that contrary to popular belief, a sufficiently Genre Savvy or merely competent hero CAN stop stage one.
  • I will allow free speech, religion, and buisness decisions in my empire. People may come and go as they please, and the people shall be treated the same. Taxation will also be done fairly, with each person who works having to give 10-30% percent of their paycheck to the empire. Public works and attractions shall be maintained every hour on the hour, and anyone may rise up to a position of power. Also, abusment of power shall be harshly judged, and anyone who was hurt shall be taken care of. All of this shall be done so as to quell down any thoughts of rebellion, and even keep people in. After all, better to live in an empire that takes care of you justly and fairly and treats you with respect, than live somewhere that doesn't.
  • I will do my research and ensure that my opponent does not believe in an entity that grants him multiple lives. If so, I will find a way to get rid of his additional lives before facing him. After all, finding out only during a battle usually leads to ''unpleasant'' surprises and death.
  • If I steal something of value from the hero, I won't upgrade it for my own personal use, eventually the hero will wind up taking it back, and not only will he have an upgraded item made with my resources, but if it's a technological item, he'll also have a feel for the specific designs of my army, giving him a crippling advantage and knowledge of any weak points.
  • If I have the hero's group in a small prison. I will remember to order my guards that if a member of the group, particularly one who's of the "trying-to-be-funny" sort, trys to grab their attention with an sort of on-the-spot routine, he/she will be shot in the leg or ignored altogether (the same goes for a female seductress or anyone complaining of stomach cramps or snake bites). They should also remember not to allow any simple-minded creatures get close to anything that could probably release the heros.
  • I will not kill infants, especially that one prophesized to defeat me. Instead I will make that infant my immediate Heir Apparrent and have him guarded with my best solders. All too many evil overlords have fallen into the trap of trying to kill a child that would otherwise never have been a threat to him and made him into one. Instead I will fulfill the letter of the prophesy by making a contest where children can usually defeat adults: tickle war, memory, hungry hippos, arcade game whatever -just keep doing it until the kid finally wins. Then, I make a big show of how I indeed got defeated and the prophesy is now fulfilled. Then I gag the goddamn prophet before he comes up with another prophecy and sentence him to death for witchcraft and blatantly endangering a child and execute him immediately and carefully. For extra fun, I could come up with a bogus last prophecy he made to distract my enemies and boost your own troops' morale. Such as saying that the last words of the prophet was that I cannot be defeated by anyone except a hero who has a birthmark shaped like the entire text of the eight first paragraphs of the Bible.
    • Nor will I ever force randomly selected teenagers to fight to the death as a national spectacle, That never ends well.
    • Nor will viewing any national spectacle be compulsory.
  • In the event that the hero somehow gets his way into my lair, I will disguise myself as a butler, have my butler pretend to be me, and once he kills the butler, and has his moment of triumph, i will kill him with a simple shot to the back of the head.
  • I will remember that my Elite Mooks who have never lost a battle, can still be defeated. Too many Evil Overlords have relied too heavily on them and are soon left with no elite warriors after the Hero eventually kills them.
  • If I ever battle an enemy country's soldiers, and they only send some 1000 or less to face my 10000, I will not laugh at their pathetic efforts to beat me, and tell my soldiers that the enemy will easily be overcome. It will be made clear that these soldiers are probably some of the best warriors this country has to offer. I shall also take a look at the terrain of where we are going to battle, and take as many precautions as possible. I shall also not ride out in a carriage or other vehicle to watch the battle, that would only get me killed. And finally, I shall make sure my Legions of Doom have a full understanding of the Battle of Thermopylae, and know that even though numbers will eventually overwhelm, skill will be able to overtake most of these numbers easily. I will also keep in mind this might be a trap and there might be more enemies than are immediately visible.
  • I will understand that sexual slavery is reprehensible, demeaning and may well cause me to cross the Moral Event Horizon. Thus, I will not attempt to force my intentions on the hero's love interest, and under no circumstances will I permit him/her to hold onto any object that could be used as an improvised weapon whilst she is in my presence.
  • If I have a monster or spell that can turn my enemies into stone, I will not put all of my statues on display in my lair where the heroes can bring them back to normal. I will either destroy the statues so my victims are Deader than Dead, or sell them to art connoisseurs so I can make a profit out of my enemies' demise.
    • If I sell them though, I'll cut the heads off, just in case the museum owner gets curious about if they're real under there or not.
    • Failing that, I will hide the statue somewhere no one would ever think to look for it, or even learn it exists. The last thing I need is my Eviler than Thou predecessor being released by some asstarded coincidence like kids arguing next to it.
    • I will never admit to subjecting people to this fate if the victim remains conscious. And I Must Scream is rather high on the list of Moral Event Horizon violations.
    • If I do not have this ability, faking it can be fun and a terrifying scare tactic. I privately kill and cremate defeated enemies and publicly bury the ashes with full honors and then have a skilled sculptor make statues of them to further honor them -I like being generous to dead enemies, they are the best kind. Then I specifically deny that the statues are petrified people and state that they certainly do not contain the tormented souls of my defeated enemies. I am honoring my enemies, certainly not tormenting their souls. The wailing sometimes heard at night in the statue gallery is just the wind and the drops of water in the statues' faces is just moist -certainly not tears. A guided tour of my lovely gallery of statues is compulsory for anyone who could possibly betray me. I like to introduce my trusted coworkers to the wonderful world of art -wonderful in itself but also so good for morale and teambuilding.
  • Although I will make backup plans for my possible death, this will not design this part of the plan to be a core element.
  • My retirement plan for myself is going to have enough challenges to keep my genius occupied. Too many accomplished villains grow bored with enjoying their victory and go back to fighting battles they have already won (thus setting themselves up for defeat at the hands of a hero) purely out of nostalgia.
  • I will make sure that I have one person in my evil council whose job it is to argue against anything suggested. He will not be punished for disagreeing with me.
    • He will be punished for not arguing from useful facts. I need holes in the plans pointed out; I don't need a plan criticized because I had to use an uglier design since it works more efficiently.
  • I shall remember, if I'm forced to use mind control to make my plans succeed, I will ensure only I can remove it of my own free will, I will ensure killing me will cause all the affected to die horribly, and I will make sure that only a certain state of mind, unaltered by any outside influence will enable the removal of the mind control. I will also make sure, when the hero attempts Talking the Monster to Death to get me to remove it I will either shoot said hero before they speak, use the monolouge to get my troops or myself in a position to do this, or, assuming my mind control has an area of effect I can use to my advantage to eliminate the hero, I will get the hero within range and humor a debate with said hero until I can either mind control and/or kill said hero.
  • I will remember to be at least nice. That way, if an Archangel or some other similar bring tears through my minions, blows a hole in the wall, and hold his sword to my throat, I will have a valid reason for him/her not to kill me.
  • If the hero tries to sway me to the side of good, rather than outright rejecting him or lying and telling him that I will henceforth be good, I will tell him something to the effect of "Your ideas intrigue me, and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter." From here, this can go a few ways: either the hero will feel extremely awkward at the thought that he has no newsletter, distracting him long enough for me to do him in; he will present me with the newsletter and leave me be in order to read it; or he will feel awkward but not be distracted and go to make a newsletter for me to subscribe to. Either way, he's out of my hair for the time being.
  • If I am forced to choose between Evil and Overlord, I will choose Overlord. Sure, Evil qua Evil is nice and all, but it's power that pays the bills. Plus, when I eventually do return to my Evil schemes, I will most likely find it much easier, having built up a track record of Good and effective governance in the meantime.
  • Before I place a curse on anyone, I will make sure it isn't broken by True Love's Kiss or something easy like that. I'll either use one that can't be broken or, better yet, one that can only be broken by having me willingly kiss them.
    • And be prepared for the possibility that I just might have to kiss them.
  • I will never outlaw smiling, hugs, flowers, or "being nice". I might not like any of that stuff, but ruling a whole country of assholes and people forced to be assholes will just make everyone annoyed and miserable, cause rampant crime and vandalism, send my public relations into the toilet, and lower property values.
  • I will take my cues from Stephen Harper, not Russell Hantz.
  • When it comes to promoting minions, I will follow a strict form of promotion granting. Those who kiss up all the time will not be promoted, as it only brings animosity to other troops. Butt kissing will only be used as a tie breaker if the butt kisser is as strong, intelligent, cunning, loyal and effective a leader as the other candidate.
  • If I brainwash someone into becoming my sleeper agent who forwards my evil plans without their knowledge, I will not have the brainwashing wear off when my sleeper agent finishes the last task I gave him. They will simply return to an initial state where more instructions can be provided.
  • I will never attempt to trap or kill any hero by challenging him to any contest that I have designed and prepared. Any hero foolish enough to take me up on that is no real threat in the first place. Nevertheless, any hero that actually does enter into such a contest is certain to defeat both the trap and me through some combination of courage, luck, psychologically impossible moments of brilliance, and/or the inevitable-yet-unpredictable intervention of his friends. Best not even to try this route.
  • I will wear bright colors where bright colors are the norm and darker colors where darker colors are the norm. When in Rome, do as the Romans do, right?
  • If my plan is to conquer the world, I will ensure I have read Sun Tzu's The Art of War before my military campaign.
  • If I have a One-Winged Angel form, I will ensure that the process of transformation lasts a fraction of a second to ensure that I am not attacked while doing so. If I have more than one, I will immediately use the most powerful form and kill everyone before something bad invariably happens.
  • After destroying the home planet of the only race that can possibly challenge me, I will order the entire star system scanned for escape pods before doing anything else. I will also kill the only survivors instead of letting them work for me.
  • If I manage to capture and mind control/brainwash one of the heroes, I will not send them back to their companions with instructions to lead them into a trap, or backstab them. Double-or-nothing is an elementary gambling mistake. Instead, I will seize the opportunity to do some permanent damage by ordering my new slave to turn around, then executing them.
  • I will never casually assume the heroes won't employ some of their more morally questionable options because they're too good for it. If all goes according to plan, there's a good chance they'll treat my decisive victory as a Godzilla Threshold.
  • On second thought...
    • I must neither now nor ever assume that tropers here are not as Genre Savvy as they think they are. More often than not, since there are corollaries to many of the original rules, the Dumbass Has a Point.
    • Even a private quiet wedding isn't a hot idea. Contraceptives are not always reliable.
    • Those commemorative coins in rule #79 can be just like a fingerprint or shoeprint as a means of identification. And who knows just what the hero can do with one of those damn things?
    • Internet access is a highly effective means of keeping people in a trance. Nevertheless, a young user may eventually find and make excellent use of any website where Pop Culture is not the main focus. For that reason, I shall install veteran guards in these areas to survey their activities.
    • Likewise with basic cable, especially Reality Television. For that reason, Monday evenings (The Bachelor and Dancing with the Stars) will be a key point for any significant activity regarding my realm. On the other hand, any program on which there has been a report of Flipping the Table will be subjected to the equivalent of a drive scrubbing.
  • My legions of evil will not be Faceless Goons and they will all wear helpful "Hello, my name is..." nametags so I know who to punish if they step out of line.
  • If I eliminate anyone, I will not forbid speaking of his name. I will simply eradicate him from the public record in every available way, from removing mentions of him from microfiched newspapers to removing his presence from social networks. Ultimately, no one will mourn him, and no one will avenge him, because no one will even remember him.
  • If I lay waste to a town, I will make sure that I laid complete waste to it, so that no one survives. And then I will have every surrounding town laid waste to, just to make absolutely sure. I'm a villain, after all... I'm not supposed to be nice.
  • If I see an escape pod leaving a vessel I have just commandeered, I will destroy the escape pod, even if there doesn't appear to be anyone on board (because why else would it be leaving?). Ammo may not be cheap, but the saying goes, "pay now or pay later."
  • Should a major uprising against my government begin, I will NOT go on a murderous rampage against the protesters, fighting tooth and nail for every last inch of the country; that just generates horrible PR issues up the wazoo. I will instead try to negotiate a settlement with the rebels taking over in exchange for me being immune to prosecution, and living out the rest of my life in relative luxury. Not only is it good PR, there's always the chance that the rebels will run things so bad that the people will beg for me to come back.
  • If it is possible to obtain other Genre Savvy guides, I will do so immediately, and use their tactics when a situation occurs which makes the tactics contained in this list ineffective or counterproductive.
  • When I learn that an oracle has made a prophecy detailing my demise at the hands of the newborn child destined to destroy me, I will not take any measures to kill the boy, relocate him to a faraway land, or sway him to my side. Not only are these methods and strategies extremely likely to fail if they don't backfire entirely, but doing so will actually bring about my foretold demise.
  • I will forgive any and every wrongdoing and injustice done to me in my childhood. That was in the past, and the culprits have likely grown up (if they were kids), or have forgotten the event or it no longer means anything to them. Either way, hatching a plan just to avenge this single event won't do me any good.
  • If I am planning to invite ANYONE to my fortress as a PR stunt, I will never do so while preparing to execute the final stages of my plan. Also, anyone I intend to invite in this manner will be investigated as soon as possible. Invitations will not be sent or announced until I am satisfied with this background check.
  • If a new employee, passing traveler, or guest I've invited bests me at a simple game I would normally win - poker, snooker, go-karts, or whatever challenge I happen to issue to them - I will interrogate and kill them immediately. That man (or woman, or teenager) is a government spy.
  • I will not bug my guest's rooms with a single microphone - a minimum of three microphones and four cameras will be installed in every room, including the bathrooms. (I won't exempt my own bedchambers and private bathroom from this security measure.) I will not limit installing security cameras and microphones to the bedrooms: ALL of the rooms in my fortress, AND all the hallways, AND any and EVERY secret passageway to and around my fortress will be monitored with as much security.
  • I will jam all wireless communications and radio frequencies in and around my fortress. Any outward communications will be done via direct, wired communications through monitored channels. All points of access for communications will be monitored and secured by password. Any unauthorized or forced entry will trigger an alarm. I will also remind my Legions of Terror that personal calls can wait until after my evil plan is complete.
  • If I intend for my nemesis to unwittingly activate my superweapon during a PR stunt, I will secretly be carrying a second remote trigger for the superweapon. If the crowd starts to panic over an exciting entrance by the hero, I will activate the weapon and hightail it out of there.
  • I will not use a fingerprint-sensitive button calibrated to my nemesis’s fingerprints to activate my superweapon during a PR stunt, or ever. If I install such a device, I will calibrate it to my fingerprints as well, in advance.
  • Despite the effect it gives to guests in my fortress, I will not keep my deadly aquatic pet in a giant glass tank, particularly when I intend to use the tank to kill any henchmen that fail or disappoint me, or possibly heroes that come to stop me. Six-inch-thick portholes can be just as dramatic.
  • If my plan involves replacing high-status individuals with surgically altered clones of myself, I will not waste time by waiting for all my targets to be replaced to dispose of all the originals at once. Instead, I will kill each one as he/she is being replaced.
    • Furthermore, it occurs to me that it may be prudent to clone my supportive female cohort a few times, as well, just to throw any suspicious persons off my tail. She will also appreciate the surprisingly romantic gesture, including her in my plan to such a degree.
  • If my plan relies on the assistance of a gambling addict, I will kill him as soon as I am finished with him. They are easy to control, but can become greedy quickly. And they tend to gamble with everything, especially with Evil Overlords and Death
  • Under no circumstances am I to reveal my plans to the hero, especially when he plays a crucial role in it. If I ever succumb to the pressure and tell him everything, I will kill him at immediately afterward, not in an elaborate deathtrap the following morning.
  • If my men find an otherwise innocuous item that contains an advanced system or mechanism in a guest’s or employee’s room, I will confiscate ALL items from the room, regardless of how innocent they seem. I will also order a full-body search of the individual, and remove everything, including jewelry and clothing. (If they protest, I will provide them with a fresh set of clothing, one from my own wardrobes). Any confiscated items will be secured in my own quarters, NOT left in the guest’s own room.
  • I will resist any urge to taunt my enemy during my escape. For instance, if flying away via helicopter, I will not stop to wave goodbye at them.
  • Despite any similarities they have, I will not keep an enemy agent alive because they resemble a lost family member or friend. I will also not offer to let them join me; if they were determined enough to become my enemy, then nothing I can do can convince them to join me. As much as it would break my heart, it would be far better to just kill them immediately.
  • If my plan involves derailing a high political figure, I will kill him once I am finished with him, not keep him drunken and embarrassed in the dilapidated building right next to my fortress.
  • The keycard I use to activate my superweapon will be the swipe-and-withdraw kind, not the kind that has to be kept in the machine to keep it activated. I will take the keycard with me so nobody else can deactivate it. Better yet, I will keep a portable shredder handy and destroy the card as soon as I’m finished with it.
  • I will make it clear to my security precisely who I’ve invited to PR events. As such, if nobody I’ve invited is under the age of twenty, all teenagers and children are to be turned away at once regardless of whether or not they have a ticket.
  • All trucks entering and leaving any of my secure installations will be searched top to bottom, on the inside AND on the outside.
    • And there will be multiple guards to search them all at once, a nimble enough hero can manage to move from one place to the other in the time it takes for just one person to shift views.
  • All sentries guarding my deathtrap obstacle course will check that all dead bodies really are dead. Preferably by stabbing the body in the back. Only when the sentries are satisfied that the body is well and truly dead are they to report the death, then carry the body out themselves for disposal. It might not always be clean or sanitary, but that’s why we have installations known as “showers.” (Or, if the mess is REALLY unsanitary, a special installation called a "decontamination shower.")
  • If the hero escapes from me, I will order a full investigation on him. As a part of that, I will interview everyone in my organization to see if they know him; this includes the trained assassin I’ve hired.
  • If the trained assassin I’ve hired refuses to kill the hero, I won’t even ask questions; I’ll kill him on the spot.
  • I won’t waste time with chest shots; if at all possible, I will aim for the head with every kill. If this is not possible, I will gun down the hero first, and follow up every downed enemy with a headshot.
  • I will not fund any lengthy, high-budget, venture capital project, such as a hotel in space. Despite the boost in PR that I desperately need, it may well come back to bite me if it starts running over budget and starts to eat away at my vast funds.
  • I will remember what the plan is, what needs to happen, and any way the hero could possibly thwart it. If any item of my plan could be turned on me, I will seek a way to eliminate it while keeping the plan in motion. For example, if I send up a bomb into space, designed to push a space station into the Earth aimed at a specific target, along with one of my lieutenants to arm it, and a second rocket with the purpose of retrieving him, I will lock down or destroy this second rocket in the event that my operation is compromised at the last second. This will break my lieutenant’s heart, but at least the hero won’t have a chance to go into space after the bomb to disarm it.
    • If any item of my plan could be turned on me, I will modify it so it cannot if at all possible. For example, I will just include an escape pod with my lieutenant, unless it's intended as a suicide mission anyway.
  • When I calibrate the controls for the superweapon to my handprint, I will immediately lock down the controls to ensure that nobody else can access the controls and disarm it or – even worse – detonate it where it will have no effect.
  • When sending my enemy to a secluded medical facility to harvest his organs – while a very profitable business strategy – I will add to the security of the facility and not rely on the token few henchmen I’ve stationed there. To be absolutely safe, I will confiscate ALL items on his person, especially the innocuous ones.
    • When managing a secluded medical facility, I will ask all staff to keep carefully precise track of the number of surgical implements, diagnostic tools, and drugs. If the hero is being drugged, the nurses are to make sure that he actually took the pills, and that he hasn’t cheeked them.
    • Related: All drugs will be administered via injection if at all possible.
  • I will always consider the best assassination techniques for every situation. For example, if I want to eliminate a vehicle near one of my installations while holding a New-Year’s Day PR event, the fireworks can easily disguise the flash and sound of a rocket launcher.
  • I will not have the hero unwittingly set the final phase of my plan in motion if the only reason for doing so is my own personal amusement.
  • I will remember who has the bargaining power at all times. Even if the hero has the McGuffin I need to launch my evil plan and is threatening to destroy it, it won’t matter as long as I have his girlfriend.
    • Wow, whoever submitted these last ten or so really loves their Alex Rider. (However, I have no argument with these very valid points.)
  • (Originally from another theoretical, but never implemented list - hence why rules start at 300, are appended with x, and are stated in some instances as corollaries to actual rules in the Anspach Evil Overlord List ):

    • 310x: Superweapons Provisions A)The Galvatron/Negaverse Wise Man Provision: If I come into possession of a weapon that supposedly fells even the most powerful of foes, I will not immediately rush off to his base and tell him to his face anything along the lines of "I now have that which you most fear!" Instead I will either test it on a lesser target, or get reliable results from the previous user.
    • B) Corrollary to Rules 17 and 37: If my men tell me or I otherwise get wind that my superweapon is overheating and about to explode, I will NOT attempt to get one final shot off regardless...Hail Mary's look great in Football and Basketball but in the villan business they usually end up on Fox Network's "When Buildings Self Destruct." I will simply retreat with my weapon and wait for it to cool down.

    • Rule 310x sec c: The Don Carnage Provision: If I have an unstoppable superweapon, it will be positioned so that I can shield it from incoming fire at a moment's notice. Failing that, my superweapon will be surrounded by tons of conventional weaponry in case someone finds a way to circumvent the superweapon and decides to go kamikaze.

    • Rule 321x: The Common Courtesy Rules When sending my legions out to raid a village, I will generally tell them to kill everyone. If however I absolutely must let women and children or some men live, then there will be some simple rules I will follow. a) I will order my soldiers not to rape or torture anyone. Yeah I know these things seem entertaining but in the end they just waste resources, stir bad blood, and create vengenace fodder for future heroes. Besides nothing's worse than having your pants down when the enemy counter attacks. b) While I will tell my soldiers not to be overly cruel to their prisoners, I will also tell them that first and foremost their duty is to me, not the village woman about to have a baby or the fight between two of the prisoners that just broke out. As such, my soldiers will NEVER take their hands off of their guns for any matter pertaining to a prisoner. Any soldier seen putting his gun down to help an elderly woman up, or to break up a fight or to help any prisoner with anything will be summarily shot on the spot. c) It is not up to my soldiers to decide what my prisoners have coming, as an Evil Overlord thats my job. As such, my soldiers will be instructed NEVER to take one of the prisoners away from the pack to teach him or her a lesson of any kind, physical, sexual, or otherwise regardless of what he/she did to him. My soldier will simply make a note of it and we'll sort it out when they return to my base.

    • Rule 323x: The Recon Rule I will have good recon period. I will know where everything in my kingdom/world is and what it does period. That way the hero will not be able to venture out into the unknown lands beyond the edge of the world and find some weapon that I didn't know existed. If for some reason it's IMPOSSIBLE for me to get good recon on a location, like say Wonderland or The Forest of No Return, then I will take one of two actions:

      • 1) I will raze it, kill the inhabitants, and turn it into a parking lot. That way I will know exactly where it is, what's in it, and what they do.

      • 2) Failing that, I will barricade the way in and out of this location and place my guards around it in quarantine while I find some way to make a probe that will give me accurate recon. Anyone entering or leaving will be shot/otherwise terminated.

    • 323x c: I will know where all wormholes in my kingdom or generated by magic lead to. I will know where all bottomless pits lead to. I will know whether there is an alternate escape route from either of these places, and if there is then I will have troops guarding that exit (s) constantly.

    • Rule 324x: The Flexibility Rule: Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither are good evil empires. I will use no plan that gives me total control but requires me to have good timing, and can only be executed once a millenia at a certain location. I will instead go with smaller plans that have decent windows of opportunity and are easily adaptable if the situation changes.

    • The Final Rule: After I have conquered existence, crushed the men, listened to the laments of the women, and generally cemented my place as an Evil Overlord, I absolutely WILL NOT make a list describing how I became an Evil Overlord, detailing the do's and don'ts of despotism. You see, at this point I would know what I was talking about, and my advice would be sound measure to study, both for any would be Evil Overlords who wish to succeed me, and Heroes who wish to know how I think so they can destroy me. Problem is, both of these people would most certainly be another pitfall in attaining and maintaining my status as an Evil Overlord, and when you get down to it, isn't preventing these kinds of threats to my rule the whole point of this list?
  • I will have an extensive command structure and only communicate with the rest of my organization with nigh impenetrable encryption and codes. As such, my identity will remain hidden. The hero can't stop who he doesn't know, and it's far more intimidating for the masses for the identity of the evil one terrorizing them to be a mystery.
    • The Illuminati Rule: As much as possible, I'll also try to ensure that my organization itself and it's acts of evil can be blamed on others or can't be traced back to it.
  • Regarding self destruct devices: there have been a number of additions to the list regarding the use of self destruct devices to prevent the hero from using my own weapons against me. This is all well and good, however all self destruct devices in my equipment will follow this rule: the self destruct will be no more powerful than is necessary to make the equipment useless and non-functional. If I can vaporize the electronics of a vehicle, and make it fall to pieces without harming a hair on anyone else's head, I will do so. Why? Well a big kaboom for a self destruct device looks cool, and can certainly do a lot of damage to the hero if it succeeds. It also is handing the hero free munitions: if the hero learns that I put nukes in all my equipment that detonate when tampered with, the first thing he's going to do when he runs out of ammo is to take something off of one of my guards and cross the wires to get a free grenade.
  • Regarding tracking devices (which have also been mentioned in this list): well and good, but I will ensure that said tracking devices are one way beacons only - from the equipment to me. That is if I use tracking devices at all: once again, me putting a tracking device in something is me potentially doing the hero's job for them - anything I can track, they can track as well, and if the guard next to my throne has one of these tracking devices...
  • When me and the hero are fighting over the MacGuffin, if for some reason, even though I've apparently beaten them, they stand up, with a badass look in their eye, and say something like "you want the MacGuffin, TAKE THE MACGUFFIN!!!", I will immediately jump into my escape pod, flee, and blow up the base post haste: I clearly don't understand the power I was dealing with, and me taking the hero up on their offer would have resulted in my death.
  • Codewords - if my officers are captured, they will be instructed to say something like "everything is A-OK" or something similar, that sounds reasonable and normal. This will be the cue to send in the elite shock troops, shoot on sight, and flood the corridors with knockout gas, as said codewords will only be said in times of durress, and the actual "everything is ok" signal will be something like "Situation Normal, reporting back in 5".
  • If, for any reason, I decide to employ ninjas, I will make sure that they, contrary to my normal Legions of Terror fight the Hero one on one. And by 'fight,' I mean use every dirty trick in the book and anything they can think up to kill the Hero before he even knows they are there and only fight as a last resort.
    • I shall also only hire one of them at a time, all from the same clan, and maintain a professional relationship and respect for the traditions of said clan, even if their beliefs clash with your own. (As a side note, should relations with said clan sour, the clan's lair shall be firebombed and any survivors hunted down and executed.)
      • Related to the firebombing issue, I will never ever EVER deliberately attack a ninja clan because I think they might be working with the hero. I will instead do everything possible and within reason to recruit them to my side instead. (Alternatively, I will frame the Hero for the firebombing.)
      • In addition, I will make sure that any ninjas I employ are not possessed by any Eldritch Abomination that they might lose control of in a tense situation.
  • I will not be a sociopath or a social isolate. Being able to model my enemies' thoughts and feelings in my own mind is useful. Thus, in my evenings, weekends and holidays I will maintain a healthy, reasonable social life with several friends and hobbies. Besides, it's always important to leave a good impression in the community.
    • If the President of the United States can do it, so can I!
  • I will never deploy an infantry invasion against an enemy replete with wizards, witches, arch-mages, mahou shoujo, or any other form of magic-users. While in tech-heavy universes, specifically ethnocidal viruses are difficult to create, the equivalent magical effect is dirt easy. More than one aspiring Overlord has found his/her-self magically thrown continents away from their target, their armies battered and maimed, due solely to the magical equivalent of a semi-permeable cell membrane.
  • Rather than using my vast propaganda machines to teach the population at large, and thus my prospective enemies, to fear and loathe me, I will use it to teach them the values of pacifism and nonviolence. Idealistic nonviolent activists are far easier to kill than real heroes.
  • If I have a four-part plan,I will make sure to have a fifth part.
  • My bases will have extremely strict safety requirements and I will have regular tests of failsafes. Keeping my mooks safe improves moral, makes sure I don't lose them needlessly, the Hero will not be able to push them off ledges, easily tamper with my machinery, and the destruction of my base would be more likely to leave more of my troops alive to fight another day.
  • While factories spewing pollution add a wonderfully villainous ambiance, I will bear the cost of mitigating and preventing the environmental damage if there are any local nature spirits or guardians that can be persuaded by heroes to attack me. A few acres of land and unsustainably harvested timber are not worth an invasion by Ents.
  • If I ever try to convince the hero to join me, I will have polished my debate skills enough to win the argument and leave the hero in doubt, even if I cannot turn him yet. I will ensure the hero is unable to return to his friends for moral support and strengthen his resolve. Once the Hero has come over to my side, I will make it my first priority to kill him/her anyway possible. Whether his defection is genuine or not, this is an ultimately better result than my situation before, or than it might become if the hero betrays me.
    • Also, I will keep a tight lid on who knows the hero is dead. My trusted allies might be allowed to know, but if any of them seem shocked or dismayed, then I will execute them in secret. As for the hero's friends, I will only tell one of them at a time when we are alone. My goal will be to inspire raw feelings of vengeance, that will be their downfall, rather than resolve, which would be mine.
  • I will not, repeat, will not install a MuffinButton on any of my ships.
  • I will never answer my own doorbell, I remember how that worked out for Gerald Bull. That's why I have minions.
  • If I can revive fallen elites in my army, I will remember not to send them against the hero for revenge; instead they will resume their original mission while the hero is miles and miles away.
    • Alternately, I will teach them to cover their giving them new powers may provide an opportunity to be defeated again.
  • If I am successful and get the chance to make a wish that can come true, I WILL be as specific as possible when doing so... Eldritch Abominations or Artifacts of Doom I could use for this purpose could try to play the game of Hijacked by Ganon or Jackass Genie.
  • If I ever obtain powers over time, I will go to the past and either A.) Kill the hero as a baby, or B.) Go back to the time after the Dinosaurs went extinct, less chance of opposition (aside from Native Mammals), and therefore easier to take over.
  • If I should end up holding the hero in my tech-based telekinesis, I will not just casually toss him in to a wall and leave with out bothering to check if he survives. I will instead crush him with the aforementioned telekinesis until he resembles a smooth jelly.
  • While having a motif is nice, and many make for some badass armor designs, they also make it easier for the hero to identify where I have influence. Therefore, I will forgo having a motif and keep my operations as nondescript as possible.
  • When designing my personal suit of armor, I will take note of actual body armor. I'll probably actually want to take some cues from SWAT teams in that regard, too.
  • I will try to force the Good Guys to use Weapons of Mass Destruction, or use them first. The stigma attached to such weaponry will turn otherwise-neutral parties to my side.
  • Corollary to Rule #158: While the hero is likely to be surprised by the recipe for Grandma’s Potato Salad the first time, it also creates an uncertain situation. On the one hand, it could increase my standing among the masses. On the other, I could be boosting the morale of the hero and his allies.
  • I will never torture anyone just to demonstrate how evil I am. This is a Bitch Alert waiting to happen.
  • If all other security precautions fail and The Hero and his companions confront me, I will immediately rectify whatever it is that caused them to band together. Any families that were killed as collateral damage in my expansion campaigns will be buried with high honors and any razed towns, hamlets, cities, biodomes or whatever will be reconstructed. Either this will convince the heroes that I do have a heart (pffffft!) or they will otherwise just back down at the attempt to make amends.
  • When installing security systems in my fortress I will remember that fish eye lenses can imbue security cameras with fields of vision in excess of 180 degrees, thereby removing the possibility of an infiltrator sneaking by them when they're turned the other way.
  • If I install radio jammers or any form of machine that interferes with communication, I will keep them inside my base, in a locked room, filled with poisonous gas and the odd booby trap. I will ensure that they cannot be destroyed by simply having their screens punched out. Rather, anyone who attempts to do that will be electrocuted.
  • I will allow my mooks to have regular contact with their families, so they will not turn on me due to loneliness. In fact, if costs allow, I will house their families in the same building as my mooks, so that they can never be used against them by an Anti-Hero.
  • The best way to avoid being killed by a Hero is to ensure that I'm not the bloke with a bullet in his head. Having an identical clone, a mind-controlled twin, or else a puppet that is my public face is insanely useful. Alternatively, having some sort of inverse-shield that actually strengthens me every time someone tries to shoot me may be considered.
  • When it comes to my Legions of Terror, I will ensure that all the Head Mooks will have a friendly rivalry with each other. That way, they will compete for my attention but not get vicious enough to fight internally.
  • Each and every person that works for me will have several microphones and GPS trackers on them, so that I can always know where they are and if they are plotting against me.
  • Every mook entering my service will have a thorough background check to ensure that they have no hidden grudges against me, my staff, or my predecessors.
  • I will believe in the spirit of emulation. If someone who works for me does well, they will be rewarded. This boosts morale and encourages them to work harder. Punishment should usually be death, unless it would severely harm PR to do so. Then it should merely be a reduction of salary or deprivation of privileges.
  • Before imprisonment, any captives will be given a thorough and complete cavity search by someone who is not sexually attracted to them in any way. Any guard disgusted by this duty will be summarily executed and replaced with a more willing employee.
  • If the heroes send someone utterly ridiculous but that is capable of defeating any powerful villain because of it, i will send my most pathetic, clumsy minion against him. After all, if the Rule of Funny is what allows such a being to come on the top, nothing is fairer than to exploit the ridiculousness of the situation and gave him a taste of his own medicine, pitching him against someone that's more silly than he is, leading to his defeat since it's funny that way!
    • Indeed, depending on how strong the Rule of Funny is tied to the very fabric of reality, I may conquer the world by simply sending my most idiotic mooks against the most competent heroes in the world.
  • If a technique can defeat me once, I will learn it.
  • I will not trust any single point off any of the preceding lists alone to render me Genre Savvy.
  • If my Mad Scientist creates a new model of mech or robot armor I will have a mook use the new model and have him fight my strongest and most trusted lieutenant in the next most recent model. If my lieutenant wins I shall order the scientist to improve the new model and I shall destroy the model my lieutenant was using.
  • Should I have the hero tied, disarmed and at my mercy, I will not untie him, give him back his weapon, and engage him in a duel just to prove my superiority. I will instead simply chop his head off.
  • If I have a fit of temporary insanity and order the hero's execution in a forced brawl against several wild beasts instead of just shooting him, I will immediately have him shot if he overcomes the beasts.
  • I don't care how cool it sounds. I will always have my gun cocked before going after the hero.
  • After reading every item of the Evil Overlord List until they are etched into my memory, I will erase all traces of said lists, track down all parties who contributed to the list and eliminate them. I will then wear a mask of stupidity and track down any aspiring Evil Overlords and if I deem them dumb enough to fall for my facade, but competent enough to achieve a measure of success and pose a threat to mankind, recruit them to be a part of MY Legion of Terror, while playing the role of THEIR minion. During this time, I will scout any prospective heroes and arrange it so that all heroes and Overlords-in-Training meet up for a death match and eliminate each other for me. I will not waste any time in letting survivors catch their breath, executing them on the spot. I will bring guns, dagger, dirks, swords and shuriken to every encounter, have all weapons doused in poison and use any means at my disposal to ensure an advantage over allies and foes alike. After the dust settles, I will have my personal band play my theme song as I am declared Evilest of Evil Overlords.
  • I will never, I repeat, NEVER, stop and make idle conversation, small talk, chit chat, gossip, etc. with the hero should I come across him. Should our paths cross, I will shoot him, stab him, poison him, choke him, drown him, decapitate him, flay and mutilate him, burn him, chop him up and use any and all supernatural powers I have to all around erase his existence from behind and ask questions later. Should we meet face to face, and he/she is destined to stop me and kick my ass (be it in that order or no), I will avoid one-on-one confrontation and instead send all of my forces at him at once and then follow the above procedure while he/she is distracted or wounded or both.
  • Blood Knight though I may be, I will not attempt to best the Hero in single combat just to prove that I'm superior. If I have him at my mercy, I'll just kill him. He can't prove he's superior to me if his head is at my feet.
  • My Legion of Terror will be equal opportunity employer but all applicant Mooks will have to pass a competency and physical aptitude test and will be placed in positions fit for their results. However, all of them will be given health benefits for them and their families, including life insurance so that low ranking mooks will have an incentive to go on suicide missions.
  • I will build my fortress so that in the event that the alarm is raised, there will be a hall that my elite defense mooks are instructed to enter that has no windows, the entrance and exits automatically shutdown and no way to sabotage the hall. All Mooks will be instructed to shoot back to back and any mook that shoots facing one another deserves what he gets (if they don't die, they will not be killed but suffer a fatal accident).
    • My Mooks will be given special headgear to protective from concussive/flash bangs, smoke bombs, and poison/noxious gasses so as not to be caught off guard and the hall will be specifically designed to immediately respond to any fires and or vapors that arise in the hall, instantly erasing them but not lasting long enough to give the hero and his gang any advantage should they possess certain elemental affinities.
  • Much to my disgust, I will acknowledge it's a valuable skill to Know When to Fold 'Em.
  • In the event I forget that holding the Idiot Ball is a Bad Thing and decide to place the hero in a Death Trap instead of executing him cleanly and quickly, I will watch the whole thing and have a squadron of my Legions of Terror on standby to gun down the hero if he escapes.
  • When building my evil Fortress'O'Doom, I will make sure that the room holding all my weapons and/or explosives is a) always locked, guarded and watched and b) not right next to or under my main room of doom.
  • If the land around my fortress is populated by giant worms, mutant insects or rabid zombies, I will put all my troops through a strict training course on how to avoid or kill them in event of a breach.
  • When I have all the tunnels rigged with mines, pit-traps or swinging blade traps, I will make sure to inform my troops of the fact that there in the tunnels there are mines, pit-traps and swinging blade traps.
  • I will remember that Even Evil Has Loved Ones and plan accordingly. I will not give my minions any reason to resent me and will in fact encourage Minion Shipping so that if the hero kills one or more of them, there is always someone with a very good reason to want the hero dead. I will engage in Villainous Friendships with my minions and especially my Dragon and lieutenants. I will engage in Unholy Matrimony rather than use a harem. Being able to call upon the Power of Love and the Power of Friendship is nothing to sneeze at.
  • Before engaging in my Reign of Terror as a Villain with Good Publicity, I will hire an Obviously Evil vizier/advisor/chancellor/prime minister who is also The Starscream and about as competent as the Trope Namer. I will put him ostensibly in charge of the most unsavory parts of my Empire without actually giving him any real authority. He will make an excellent fall guy and I will endeavour to allow the Hero to "free" me from the influence of my Evil Chancellor who has obviously been the cause of all this tragedy that has occurred behind my back.
  • Once the Hero starts killing off large numbers of my Mooks, I will periodically hold mass memorial services for them with open caskets and grieving relatives for all the world to see. I will deliver an eulogy and shed a Single Tear for my slain comrades. This will paint me as A Father to His Men and the Hero as a Heroic Sociopath. I will also provide bursaries for the education of surviving dependants, medals to honor the fallen and gratituities to feed their surviving parents and widows. If there are any orphans (especially if both parents worked for me), I will raise them in an Orphanage of Love and see if I can convince some of them to become Tyke Bombs. I will use these in my elite guard and the Hero can explain to them why Daddy and Mommy had to die just for doing their jobs.
  • If my Mooks are armed with deadly insta-death laser weaponry, I will design the guns to be so complicated that no person who isn't trained in the use of such a weapon can use them. That way, I can prevent my enemies from using the guns of my fallen Mooks in battle.
  • If I hear the Hero's theme music, and it's not a Dark Reprise, I will not keep fighting. I will get the hell away, because the Narrative Gods have decided against me.
  • I will not form a settlement atop a Hell Gate if the only way to appease said Hell Gate is to periodically force twins to murder each other. Someone will inevitably try to escape and send everything on a merry path to Hell.
  • If for any insane reason, I plan to stage a dramatic appearance and defeat a Humongous Mecha, I will not spend months constantly perfecting the mecha before I send it out. This thing is supposed to be beatable, isn't it?
  • Absolutely none of this applies if I am the "villain" of [[Video Game/Civilization Civilization]] or Empire Earth. I can be as brutal as I want, and as long as I'm a competent leader who can keep my empire moderately happy I can be as brutal and genocidal as I see fit. NOTE: Only applies if I am facing enemies I would not normally see, for instance Americans as the leader of a tribe of Asians in the Stone Age..
  • If I ever split my soul into multiple nearly-indestructible pieces to become unkillable, I will make one of those pieces a part of a deep space probe.
  • I will not pull the plug on a group of genetically-engineered super-soldiers just because the first one turned out smarter than I expected, especially if it means killing a batch that's already half-finished. The prototype likely won't appereciate me scrapping his bretheren just because I got cold feet, and could express his displeasure in some VERY counterproductive ways.
  • If The Hero is ever dangling off the edge of some edifice over a pit of death or something similar, I will not waste time trying to stomp on his/her hands. I will shoot them. Better yet, I will shoot HIM.
  • None of my Mooks will be wearing helmets in my presence. I will not hire a Mook that hides his/her face. Any Mook that refuses to take of their helmet will be shot immanently.
  • On further hindsight after skimming the volumes of tips I have written, I will take time to gather my trusted officials around and take stock of what my intended goals are against what we are actually doing. If my goal is to become an evil overlord, then it does me no good if 95% of my time is spent undermining all possible threats to my rule. I am not immortal and I will die eventually (cloning, time travel, and seeking immortality is out of the question). If I am actively trying to take out the hero, I will remember that I am trying to undermine THE HERO and not some woobie, as some of the tips in my six cell blocks would leave me to believe. The Hero, as by definition, will NOT fall for 90% of these tips and WILL have a near infinite amount of Plot Armor which can be transferred to anyone in the world.
    • Additionally, I will keep in mind that the Hero might have an equally long list of Heroic Vows that may counter my Overlord Vows. If this is the case, I will attempt to avoid trying to out-gambit the hero and seek his destruction, before I get axed by the now DANGEROUSLY GENERE SAVVY hero and his/her merry men/harem/army/Five-Man Band/etc..
      • If at any point in time this Evil Overlord business is deemed either impossible to maintain, or impossible to attain, I will cut my losses, defer to the hero, and seek out something else to do. I will remember my goals and will remember that no where in them is the goal to work myself into the ground and be the youngest person alive to get gray hairs in their twenties.
  • If I find myself in the situation of Rule 154, I will let the Hero rescue me. But then I will consider Rule 68 before following up according to Rule 154.

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