I will leave backup plans on a table when no one is around. And by "backup" I mean "decoy that will fool the heroes into playing along with my evil plans."
All backups will be regularly checked by well-paid and loyal security guards, and anyone wishing to transport or utilize them will have to be authorized beforehand. Any instance where the backup has gone missing will be reported immediately.
If at all feasible, I will have Doomsday Device Version 0.9 started up five minutes after Doomsday Device Version 1.0. Because they will be kept in completely different facilities, my evil plans will have a fair chance of success even if the heroes somehow manage to stop me at the last second. In fact, if I have time, I will make and use Version 1.1 for my main plan and have Version 1.0 as my backup.
My base of operations will not have a website. The only computers in my base with Internet access will be on a completely separate network to the main ones, and will not be 'net compatible.
I will task my mad scientists with creating a completely proprietary OS for the computers, to prevent any on-site hacking. If there will be no way to find finances for such, I will at least use an obscure and archaic OS, preferably not binary compatible.
Okay, a lot of problems and rules on all of these lists have something to do with mad scientists, so you know what? Before I even begin the very first act toward world conquest/whatever else I may want, if at all possible, or at least if convenient at the time, I will become a mad scientist myself so I don't have to worry about so many damn problems about the freelance variety and their daughters.
I will make sure I am one of the 1,000 smartest people on the planet before I feel comfortable regularly employing the Batman Gambit in my schemes.
My robots will be intelligent enough to point out flaws in my plans, fall back if an operation becomes impossible, and improvise new plans on the fly. Their programming will specifically forbid acting against me, valuing their own lives above the mission, and any philosophical thought.
If I have to give my robots laws, I will give them the Three Laws of Evil Robotics. The Three Laws of Evil Robotics are:
1) A robot may not injure the Evil Overlord, or through inaction allow the Evil Overlord or his plans to come to harm.
2) A robot must obey orders given to it by the Evil Overlord and his lieutenants, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
In the event that, as suggested in previous guidelines, I am offered any wishes from a genie or other wish-granting figure, I will, after taking necessary precautions, wish for the First Law of Evil Robotics: "I wish for the power to grant my own wishes, with every wish I make following the spirit of the wish as I intend it at the time I make the wish, including this wish."
All shipments will be viewed by someone with X-Ray Vision before being let in my base.
Vampires will not be placed in positions of power. I can do quite well without all that Wangst, thank you very much. Also, minions who die if they go outside during the day are pretty useless.
I will execute any vampires that are capable of sparkling on the spot, period. This is, after all, my kingdom, and I hate Twilight as much as everyone. After all, Even Evil Has Standards.
I will investigate all vampires capable of wielding Solar-Powered weaponry.
I will consider novel methods of disposal f one or more of my enemies are vampires or similar creatures, . Sunlight and silver are fine, but I doubt medieval peasants ever had the chance to test vampiric response to disintegrators.
My jail cells will be sealed by thick reinforced metal bars, not energy fields that can be deactivated by pulling the plug. If I do have access to energy field cells, I'll just make sure they have metal bars as a backup containment method. Energy fields are harder for a hero with Super Strength, Voluntary Shapeshifting, or other miscellaneous abilities to get through.
If three heroes have been making my life hell at the same time, showing three different personas and sets of powers, I will check the timing exactly to see if its possible for a single organism to have done it all, to prevent any rather depressing reveals.
My space stations and orbiting weapons will be assembled in space and will not be equipped with heat shields. That way, if the hero attempts a Colony Drop, the satellite will burn up in the atmosphere long before they hit my base. They will not carry enough fuel to move out of orbit either.
If I send multiple bounty hunters after the hero, I will not make them compete with each other. Instead, I will offer to pay them each the full value of the bounty if they bring the target in together.
I will use lie detectors during interrogation. But only if I have access to magical and/or futuristic lie detectors that actually work. There's a reason why polygraph readings aren't admissible in court.
I will not set my base to self-destruct upon my defeat; such sites are notoriously difficult and expensive to locate and build, and it's easier to just take it over again should it be captured, besides. I will, however, set all my equipment to short out and set controllable fires to destroy any projects I am currently working on, to make sure my enemies don't get their hands on them after forcing me out of my lair. I will also make sure that all data and backups for any plans in the works are saved in other locations, so I won't have to start from scratch with each defeat.
If I develop a seemingly flawless plan, only for it to be foiled by the hero at the last second through a million-to-one stroke of luck, I will immediately start work on reusing the same plan. The odds of that trick working twice are a trillion to one. I will keep in mind that there are heroes who can succeed even if the chance of victory is Zero Percent.
If I have the ability to teleport anywhere, at will, I will wait until the hero is asleep, and then teleport to right beside him and kill him.
My lair in turn will be warded against both screening and teleport. If possible, the screening ward will project realistic but entirely false images to distant observers and the teleport ward will dispel the buffs on all intruders before shunting them into a suitable death trap.
If I capture two of the hero's closest companions and force him to choose which one to save, I will not actually show him his two companions. Instead, I will disguise two of my henchmen as the hero's choices, so that when he inevitably saves them both, he'll be killed by the two henchmen he just "saved".
If I employ a team of Muggle laborers to build some device that, unbeknownst to them, is crucial to my plans, I will have a reasonable idea of how fast I can expect them to work. If the foreman tells me it is impossible to finish within the specified time frame, I will listen and adjust my plans accordingly. Having him killed will not make the work go any faster, and suspicious deaths will only attract the heroes to come investigate.
A hero entered the realm bitter and alone. He met a love interest. She's beautiful. She's smart. She becomes his everything. She is his reason to fight you. If I ever capture both, for fucks sake, DO NOT TOUCH HER IN FRONT OF THE HERO! Cuckolding a hero never works, and only has one possible outcome. Love, jealousy, revenge, and hatred make a very explosive mix.
If I am the Devil or otherwise a mystical creature who likes screwing people over with deals, I'll let someone insignificant "win" once in a blue moon. Maybe I'll pretend to lose, or maybe it'll just be a straight out "honest" exchange. Then I'll make certain that word of this incident gets out. Why? Because it works for casinos and lotteries. Far more souls will be willing to risk it than if every deal I ever make goes sour.
I will make sure that I'm Dangerously Genre Savvy. Though if I'm reading or using this list, I already am. In addition, I will make sure that I don't take everything at face value, but actually think about this list and how it applies. Some of the things on here are not genre savvy, but I am genre savvy enough to catch them. I will also watch for it in my minions. The ones who aren't are more likely to be incompetent, but the ones who are, are most likely looking to take my place.
I will not wield any gun or sword in any combination as my primary weapon. My primary weapon will always be land mines. The gun/sword is a backup.
As cool as it might seem to have the power to fly or shoot energy blasts out of my hand, given a choice, I will always spring for one or more of the following: immortality, invulnerability, regeneration, precognition, clairvoyance, or supergenius-level intelligence. If I'm really that concerned about it, I'll just use my superhuman intellect to build a jetpack and an energy rifle.
I will not leave clues for the hero that will eventually lead to my demise. If I do, I will make sure they are false clues, to throw the hero off my trail. In case the hero is not fooled, said false clues will not be the exact opposite of what I want the hero to do.
As an alternative measure for rule 88, I will send the same group that failed me again and again. Since they didn't die the first time, I'd rather have those incompetent fools suffer The Worf Effect instead of my competent underlings.
Alternately, I will create a moral dilemma for the heroes by actually treating my captive well. Especially if I don't know how the hero would react to the death. No need to provide a trigger for the hero's Unstoppable Rage, and better to provide a way to nullify it. This goes double if the person I captured is also a Love Interest.
Should my enemies live in an area I want to take over, I will take over EVERY AREA the heroes do NOT live in, then take over the area they do live in.
I will remember that this strategy will not work in the event that this promotes the inhabitants of that area to become the last of their kind. Or if they are French.
I will subtly encourage my evil rivals to avail themselves of Rule 64. After all, a good psychiatrist will refuse to treat them, and if they go to an evil psychiatrist, they have handed a convenient master list of all their weaknesses and phobias to someone who will sell it to the highest bidder. As a corollary, I will bid high (keeping in mind the possibility that the evil psychiatrist may be planning a double-cross).
If I hear about a prophecy or prophecies that state that a child will be born in a certain place with a birthmark or some other sign who will bring about my downfall, I will not immediately send troops to kill the child and its entire family. Instead, I will wait until the child is about five, while keeping it under surveillance, and then have it kidnapped and killed. Once this is done, I will bury the body in a careful location so the body does not get eaten by wild beasts, resurrected by the good guys or wash up on some foreign shore. And for everyone's sake, I will make sure that the child is actually dead, instead if just stabbing it once or suffocating it. Bullets are very helpful, especially fifty-fold.
Then again, since even at that age, it's a risk, I will instead do what I can to make sure the child has a content and happy life. If this child grows up to be a hero anyway, I'll make sure I've already followed the rules about good PR among the populace, so that the hero has less reason to think I need to be overthrown. If that doesn't work, I'll realize I'm in a You Can't Fight Fate story.
In fact, if I hear about a prophecy at all, I will have my scholars study it and present me with the information. Then I will make sure that I do not do anything the prophecy says I will.
Since the attempt to avoid the prophecy is what usually sets off the chain of events to its fulfillment, all prophecies will be ignored.
In contradiction to the above, if and only if I am a Villain with Good Publicity, I will personally take said prophecy child under my wing and teach him how to rule an empire while not appearing evil. In the event that the child does decide to carry out the prophecy, I will turn to the heroes and ask them to help me with my child.
And if he out-backstabs his old man, at least I'll die a proud father.
Should I still make such an attempt, it will consist of immediately destroying said place and placing guards to ensure that nobody is ever born there. The guards will all be eunuchs.
Even if I'm to lazy to care about all of the above: when the prophecy tells he's the one who can defeat me, I will NOT try to kill the child by myself. He's just a child, so if I send troop to do the job, they will never accuse me of being frightened.
If some extremely important and powerful foreigners come into my land/s, I will not threaten to take them hostage in my capital while I find and kill the person they were after, ZAKATH. Especially if the person they were after is my enemy too. Instead, I will give them help with their quest, and ship them out of my lands ASAP. After all, "power" is only good when I have it.
If I am aspiring to take over the world, or at least the known world, and I am informed that there is/are a person/s that can stop me if I do so, I will not kill the person who told me this and send out my entire force to kill the person/s. Instead, I will make sure that they cannot know about my plans and/or conquests until it is too late to stop me.
I will have a staff of public servants who will behave as servants of the people; that is, be friendly and helpful. Also encourage idealistic people to work with the disadvantaged. Let them be known and liked among the population, so that they can hear any bit of gossip and learn ASAP whenever something unusual is happening. I would also encourage people talking in taverns and public places on all possible subjects, in front of public servants. This would save millions in local espionage salaries (and people engaged in such internal espionage tend to have an intimidated appearance which encourages people to shut up instead of babbling - which is what I want them to do). (This by the way is how all the German spies who parachuted in Ireland were caught within hours. Anyone who saw a stranger would mention it in the pub where the local cop was having a beer, so the authorities found out without having to pay any extra money - the cop paid for his own beer).
If I can't replicate it, I can't fix it. If I can't fix it, I can't control it. If I can't control it, I will not use it.
This includes my own children and grandchildren, to a certain extent.
When designing my fortress/fort/castle, I will not choose a Gothic design on a mountaintop in brooding, dark stone with too many towers and the occasional eagle. And it won't be surrounded by lava. Instead, I will design it somewhat in the manner of Castle Floret: on a raised hill surrounded by a moat, with a big heavy drawbridge. Also, the castle will be designed for height rather than length, and I will place the prison/gaol/dungeons right at the top.
I will always make sure that any door that needs to remain locked will have at least three locks, which cannot be picked. Also, the hinges will be placed on the outside, NOT the inside.
In fact, before throwing anyone into my dungeons/gaol/prison, I will have them stripped and searched, and put into the minimum amount of clothing it will take to keep them warm. The cloth will not be durable or strong, so they can't use it for a rope. Even if they are very old/venerable/respected, I will not leave any personal effects, especially not medals. Also, window bars will be hammered onto the outside, not the inside.
What are these "windows" that everyone keeps referring to? A good, solid, deep-underground dungeon is much more effective. Especially if you have a lead- and kryptonite- lined one.
If any of my towns/cities/forts, etc are to be outfitted for defense against armies, including big heavy walls, I will have them buttressed from both the outside and the inside, in order to prevent an inside job.
I will not sexually harass the princess I've captured. When I am inevitably caught red handed by the hero, he'll just be that more pissed off because he hasn't got that far with her.
When engaging in warfare with whatever army the hero has assembled, I will not attack his army directly, even when my army outnumbers his a million to one. It will almost always be defeated through luck, tactical brilliance on the hero's end, or incompetence in my own minions. Instead, I will target his ammunition dumps, food stores, fuel reserves, and medical supplies. Without these, he can't raise an army to fight me in the first place. Remember, amateurs study tactics; professionals study logistics.
... and winners study finance. I will thus, if given any opportunity to, find out how the hero and/or his allies intend to pay for their war material in the first place, and utilize whatever options I have to confiscate, nationalize, tax, execute leveraged buyouts upon, or otherwise economically ruin their financial situations to prevent them from building up any ammunition dumps, food stores, etc., in the first place. Plus, if I do it right, there'll be more ill-gotten gains for me.
In the event that the hero intends to support his logistical efforts by stealing from my stockpiles, I should give him every opportunity to do so. The part where I make sure what he's stealing from me is as laden with as many tracking devices, poisons, creative yet subtle malfunctions, and/or hidden tactical nuclear warheads on a timer as I can arrange for doesn't even need to be mentioned, does it?
As an addendum, if I must fight the hero, I will use as small and economical a force as I can reasonably field, even if I could deploy vastly larger numbers of troops. This force will be led by my most well-liked minion(s). If my troops are outgunned, they garner sympathy and avoid being weakened by being part of a much larger force. Plus, it costs less.
If I am a troper for this wiki, I will not take There Is No Such Thing as Notability for granted. Sure, the hero may never find a use for my fears and turn-ons, but why take that chance?
If I am in charge of a nation/empire that shares its continent with many others, and I go to war with some of them, and I am the Overlord of my few countries, I will never, ever regard another nation as "useless" simply because they have no real army. Chances are, they're renowned for poisoning and assassins, and you can kill an enemy just as easily by poisoning him as you can by actual conflict.
If I hear about any form of magical fruit/s that can give the eater a special power, I will not:
A, immediately amass a list of all the people who had eaten the fruits and have them all killed,
B, gather all the fruits and have them destroyed, or
C, all of the above. Instead, I will amass a list of these people, and gather some (SOME, not ALL) of the fruits. I will eat a fruit myself and then give the others to those of my staff who need special powers, like trusted lieutenants or brilliant generals. Then, I will instruct my staff to offer employment to each of the people who had eaten a fruit in the field that they desire to work in, with a lot more equipment.
I will also make sure that, if there are such side effects, that I will never be in a position for them to be exploited. I will also make sure that I myself am not affected by such side effects, but what better use is misdirection than as a weapon?
If the main race of my countries/empire/nation has a very big personality flaw, such as greed or anger, I will attempt to get rid of this flaw. Personality flaws destroy nations, as the Marags found out.
Amateurs MUST BE KEPT AWAY FROM VOLATILE SUBSTANCES. Only skilled and experienced arsonists or explosive experts will be allowed to blow anything up, and that only if they work for me.
As well as that, I will never keep all of my explosives in one room. That has some baaaaaaaad results.
My execution chamber will contain a variety of complex Rube Goldberg Death Traps, with a substantial time delay from the moment the switch is thrown until the eventual horrible death, from which a victim of sufficient ingenuity might conceivably escape. Needless to say, these will never be used on any prisoner I seriously want dead; those get a single pistol-bullet to the brain. The Rube Goldberg devices will be used on condemned-but-unimportant criminals on my realm-wide reality TV show, Who Wants to Live? It's always a good idea to give your subjects Bread and Circuses. Surviving contestants will be offered recruitment in the Assassination Regiment of my Legions of Terror, or a single pistol-bullet to the brain.
Honor is worth its weight in gold. A reputation for honor, on the other hand, might have some practical value. Therefore, I will never make a promise I might find it inconvenient to keep, except when breaking it is certain to result in the immediate death of all persons other than myself who know it was made.
I will take acting lessons until I can perfect the role of a fawning, cringing, servile toady. My trusted lieutenant will be trained to strut around in black robes intoning things like "Seize them!" and "Evil will triumph!" in a booming, sepulchral voice. Thus if the hero is ever brought into my presence, my lieutenant and I will switch roles, just in case the hero has something up his sleeve despite being naked and shackled (they always do, you know). This will allow me to remain in the room and keep an eye on the situation while my lieutenant becomes the target of any possible attack. My lieutenant, just to keep him from getting above himself at that moment, will have a minibomb inserted into his heart, to which I will have the detonator in my pocket.
My Legions of Terror will not march back and forth in front of my Fortress of Evil carrying long spears and wearing flashy, terrifying uniforms. That role will be filled by expendable security guards (or even more expendable actors) hired from a private agency. My Legions of Terror will wear practical camouflage fatigues and be trained to lurk out of sight until needed.
I will not try to discipline my beautiful daughter to rein in her dangerous carnal appetites. To the contrary, I will raise her to use and discard men like this week's hot fashion. That way, if she falls in love with the hero . . . well, that's what he thinks!
Which will end with her discovering true love with the hero and joining his quest to conquer you. Expect her to die dramatically later on as her continued existence would interfere with the hero getting it on with the flower girl childhood friend.
Screw it, I will either not have children, or, failing that, raise them to have healthy but accurate attitudes about sex, and have them understand that relationships are based on mutual trust and respect, not some Accidental Pervert bursting into their personal Hot Springs.
As a corollary to this, my daughter will instinctively go for the mace in these situations, rather than the Megaton Punch. It's hard for anyone to be dashing when they're clawing at their eyes.
I will develop a spell called Acid Spray. Only my spouse(s) and children are permitted to know it. Anyone who is not my child and knows it is to be adopted into my family immediately.
And if they don't want to join? If I force them, they'll betray me. If I kill them, that's bad for PR. Better just go with the mace.
I will never employ any Doomsday Device that is so destructive it would leave me with no world or subjects to rule over. I mean, if the world leaders can't or won't come up with the ransom, what options does that leave you?
If I discover that the hero has an Orphan's Plot Trinket in his possession, I will not show up at his door dressed in spiky armor with a gang of mooks and demand he give me the White Magician Girl's necklace. Not only will he wipe out my squad, but now he knows that the trinket is important and will go to great lengths to figure out my plan and keep it away from me. Instead, I will disguise myself as a merchant, and when he stops at my store to pick up the latest weapon, I will offer to buy it from him for an exorbitant amount of money, or perhaps trade it for a component of the Infinity+1 Sword. Not only will it allay any suspicion, but if I get the necklace or whatever at the beginning of the quest, my plans will be complete before the good guys have any idea what happened. Besides, you can't get the Infinity+1 Sword until the very end anyway, and he won't make it that far.
Beforehand, I will hire a friendly pickpocket to steal it. If he is caught by the hero and becomes his sidekick, he will be my mole. I will have already implanted a bomb in his brain without his knowledge so I can kill him at the time of his inevitable Heel-Face Turn.
Naturally, any weapons I sell him during the transaction will be faulty. They will also be coated with poison, but only on the handle.
Depending on the laws of the universe, curse items can be an amusing (and effective) thing to sell to the hero. Just be careful when handling the merchandise.
If I do trade the Orphan's Plot Trinket for a component of the Infinity+1 Sword, I will not give the hero the real component. A fake will suffice in this case. I will, however, ensure that all strategy guides written claim that the component I provide is, indeed, the real one. Additionally, the actual stats of the Infinity+1 Sword will be drastically overestimated in the guides, increasing the hero's desire to obtain it. This may possibly result in a Heroic BSOD once the hero spends thirty hours collecting randomly dropped components, and at last has all the others, but cannot create the sword due to the fake.
If possible, I will obtain all the components of the Infinity+1 Sword myself. I will then hide them in different areas around the world - none of these will actually be feasibly accessible, however: for example, one component may be buried several hundred metres below the ocean floor in a randomly selected area of the sea. At least one component will be stored on my person at all times, however. The strategy guides will claim that the components are in entirely different locations, also quite hard to access. Needless to say, the guides will only be revealing the locations of fakes. By the time the hero's collected them all, I'll have put my final plans into action.
Even better, if I can obtain all the components myself, I will make the sword and use it to fight the hero. I will keep it on my person at all times. The only way anyone else can possibly get it will be to kill me, which they will not be able to do because I have the most powerful weapon in existence. I will also look for any available Infinity Plus One Armor and accessories.
I will find any available Game Breaker and use it as much as possible. Especially instant-kill type things.
However, keeping it on my person at all times gives heroes a better reason to kill me: I drop the best weapons in the game. Maybe I should keep them in a safe when not in use.
I will find the Bonus Boss, and do anything in my power to get it on my side. Even if the hero manages to defeat it, he'll be so weak afterward, that I can kill him without any trouble.
Only if I decide to attack at the same time. Like hell I'm gonna become the second member of a Sequential Boss Fight, or - me forbid - give them time to rest. If the boss and I cannot battle the heroes at the same time, I'll just hide one of the aforementioned fake Infinity+1 Sword parts with the Bonus Boss and request that he advertise that he has an important artifact capable of destroying my plans.
I will never keep the final room where I reside, with my hostage/artifact, (or if the room is my last escape point) guarded by a a line of bosses ending in one big, almost undefeatable one. Chances are that it will be defeated, and if I have no other security, I'm stuffed.
While I run away. Or disguise myself as a previously-unknown-but-obviously-innocent hostage.
I will create agencies staffed by experts and competent leaders to deal with any and all natural disasters, even if the chance of it occurring is less than one percent. I will supply these agencies with twice the funding and manpower they claim to require. They will be ready to act at a moment's notice and have outposts loaded with supplies at all towns and cities of significant size and will regularly practice drills with the public of what to do in the event of a disaster. It will do me no good to crush my enemies if a freak act of nature brings my empire to its knees.
Very often, the Chosen One has mentors who are...let's be charitable and call them dicks. They'll use their Omniscient Morality License to put the hero through hell, make them have to make hard choices whether to defend the world or their families, and generally not be very truthful when it comes down with it. Should my spies report this is the case, I will pay for the hero's little brother's education, and keep his grandparents fed and healthy, and give his Ill Girl sister her operation. And there won't be any of those "mwahaha, but you have to do something evil first" deals. No, this will be be done with a smile.
Why? Because on that day, that day of destiny where he faces me down at my throne room; he will remember my kindness to him, and hesitate; and maybe even offer for me to join the Light Side. And I'll give a warm smile, verify he doesn't have any shield or illusion abilities, and shoot him full of lead, with 20 snipers in the rafters backing me up.
Or better yet I will frame the mentor as the bad guy, offering said mentor's Training from Hell as proof of Evil and depending on the circumstances use the inevitable Heroic BSOD to either kill him while defenceless or get him to work for me.
If the hero doesn't have a mentor that puts him through a Training from Hell yet, I'll pay a hefty sum to a wise-looking jerk-ass (preferable some who has some real skill) to pose as a powerful old Kung-fu or magic master who dislikes me. When the hero comes by, he must show off his power, and eventually, reluctantly, offer him training. He will then send the hero into deathtraps. If the hero survives, he'll be told "Well done, you completed the first step of your training. Now for the next 27". If the hero is in any way Genre Savvy, he'll think it normal and thank the jerk-ass for it. I will supply the deathtraps, making sure they are in no way related to the deathtraps that I actually use for my own security, and I will monitor what exactly the hero learns in case he keeps surviving.
One better. I will make sure that the martial art he is taught will be one that is useless against my own brand of martial arts. Assuming that I have a use for the hero at all. Otherwise, I'll make sure that the "martial art" he's taught will actually make him a worse fighter than he already is.
If I possess craft capable of taking cities off the map from orbit, I will not bother with a ground invasion but instead kill the hero and his hometown without him ever seeing me. The hero and his or her friends need never meet me or my Legions of Doom in person.
Spies to make sure he is there and coroners to confirm it after the fact are worth their weight in gold, however.
The locations of anti-aircraft missiles that could shoot down my vessels will be my first targets, and given no warning.
Additional to point 10 of the original list: if I possess a fleet of spacecraft, ocean-going vessels or whatever, I will make sure that any captured heroes are brought not to my flagship, but to a small support ship (without the capacity to destroy my flagship).
If the only thing that can kill my enemy is a silver bullet, I will make more than just ONE silver bullet.
The first two bullets in the magazine will be ordinary bullets. These will lure my enemy into a false sense of security, ensuring he doesn't try to dodge when it counts.
Unless the hero is Nigh Invulnerable or Made of Iron, he'll still dodge the bullets because they'll hurt like a bitch. I will use all silver bullets so that when I finally hit him, it will kill him.
I will not give myself an absurdly specific name, but rather be known as "Mr. Guy, subjugator of places." My methods will remain unknown to all but my own minions.
Also, I will use a variety of Mind Control that deletes the victims pupils, then outfit my new minions with artificial senses twisted as to make them do my bidding whether or not they realize it.
As an extension of rule 136, any bomb that I build will be salvage-fused: If even a single wire (Any one of them) is cut, the bomb will detonate immediately.
If I for some reason decide to take my enemies alive, I will keep in mind modern prison standards when designing cells for my enemies. All cells will have modern concrete walls and floor, as throwing the hero in a decrepit and abandoned old part of the castle with brickwork that could potentially be dug through and leaving him to die unsupervised is right out. For important prisoners at least two guards will be posted outside the cell at all times and will have easy access to a button that will immediately kill the prisoner in case of prison riots, betrayals or attack by enemy ninjas. The cell block will also be kept under constant surveillance with hidden cameras, with the control room having remote triggers for all the 'kill prisoner' buttons.
As an addendum to this I will never store captured heroes' weapons, armour or Humongous Mecha anywhere near the prison cell blocks. Provided I cannot immediately put them to use I will have them either melted down or booby trapped and stored in a well-fortified warehouse several miles away from my prison. If it's a mecha, I'll have the cockpit removed entirely.
I will know when to call it quits. If for example, I live in a universe where the heroes always win no matter what I do or how Genre Savvy I've become because that's the way the universe works or because the heroes have a higher power on their side (like God or the writer), then I won't stay around until I'm wiped out. I will move to a new universe and try my luck there.
I will consider turning over a new leaf and being a morally ambiguous Anti-Hero. You'd be AMAZED what you can get away with if you focus on Acceptable Targets.
I will never write my memoirs, and if I do, I will never put anything that is a secret in them.
I will keep the fact I've just achieved immortality a secret, once it happens. Bragging about it just gives people the motivation to prove you wrong.
If one of the villagers in my realm has a legitimate beef with a member of my Legion of Doom, I will deal with the matter in a fair and equitable manner. If they have no reason to be disgruntled, they won't bother helping the hero when he comes around.
I will keep my peasants in check by providing a wide variety of amusements and entertainments. They won't bother helping the hero if it means they might miss their stories.
I will also get rid of TiVo.
To all potential (heterosexual) MALE Evil Overlords: All my nefarious plans can wait until after my wife's birthday, daughter's wedding or any significant girl in my life's important events. Missing said event will likely cost me very dearly under the "Hell Hath no Fury" clause. No event in the girl's life would be too insignificant, cause honestly, who kills the evil overlord when he's having tea time with "Daddy's Little Princesses and her court of Cute Stuffed Animals"?
And I can plan for the ceremony that happens during the total eclipse, but I will remember to plan for the above events as well. While I'm out shopping for the necessary materials for the ceremony, I can also shop for gifts. Just another way of making sure I'm prepared for everything.
If I remember such important dates, and the hero forgets that with his love interest, the humiliation would be worth it for that alone.
I will make it a point to remember the birthdays/anniversaries of all people opposed to me and celebrate accordingly.
I will send gifts to the heroes who thwarted my plans of world conquest on the appropriate days, to show that I bear no grudges against them. Ruling the world would be boring without people trying to oppose me. We can also play chess in the park between the inevitable conflicts. The heroes are one rung below the Quirky Miniboss Squad on my list of friends. Which is to say, when the hero falls on hard times from turning down all those rewards, I'll offer to let him join the squad.
Similarly, my Legion of Doom will be gender neutral and all male legionnaires will be required to take sexual harassment courses prior to working for me. I will have an all female detachment of my Legion of Doom specifically trained to deal with both equal opportunity heroes and all female bands of heroes (as well all male bands, but they are increasingly harder to come by) well before they come close to my inner sanctum. I might not have standards but that is no guarantee that my co-conspirators in my League of Doom round table don't and hitting a girl is generally one of those that is more common. On the flip side, it also looks bad if you are beaten by a bunch of girls so having a girls-only attack group can help avoid that and the male heroes will never hit a girl. And taking down my regime might mean that they aren't pro-feminist, which will cause the female forces in my Legion of Doom to work even harder to defeat them.
I do not need to beat the hero myself. In fact, the less I need to see of Those Meddling Kidsand their dog, the better. All troops under my command will be instructed and made clear that killing the hero in battle will earn them a handsome pay bonus. Legion of Doom troops tend to respond to two things: kindness from superiors and greed. And I have just wrapped them both up in a bag of super motivation.
Likewise, all Legion of Doom troops limping back from a battle with the heroes will be fully compensated for injuries. At least they tried to get him, ya know?
Wait, but then what happens if the offer of pay bonuses causes my minions to fight with each other over who gets to kill hero, leading to his subsequent escape? No, instead I'll offer a bonus to my entire army, funds permitting, so that they'll all be more likely to work together to bring down my foe.
The best method would probably be to offer a pay bonus, secretly, to the unit detached to kill the hero (on the condition that, if they fail the first time after the pay bonus was offered, they cannot get it even if they kill the hero later, unless otherwise specified, and that talking about the bonus would get them severely demoted). You want to pay the lowest amount of people you can the bonus, so that you save money, while still causing no competition. The clause that the bonus is a one time deal is so that Unit A, which failed, does not sabotage Unit B when it goes out on a mission. If units are interchangeable, IE if minion C is a part of A and B, they either get two shots at the bonus, or are stuck with only unit A (or demoted to unit D, since they failed at killing the hero). It all depends on how your army is set up, but the basic premise is similar no matter what.
Or so that every Unit still has a reason to try, I will simply give bonuses to all troops involved in the capture. If Units A and B cooperate in capturing the hero, then they both get the bonus. I should have enough money to afford it, and I'd rather make sure that none of the minions are bitter about blowing their chance at the bonus.
If I can avoid dealing with Inflation, I will attempt at least one of the above compensation plans.
Alternatively, tell all the minions that everyone in the group which killed the hero will get a bonus in the form of a night out to the bar with all their tabs paid by me. It's enough that most minions would work harder to get it, but not so much that they would kill each other for it.
When engaged in time travel, I will never ally myself with Those Wacky Nazis. It never helps and brown is such an ugly color.
I will not censor the Internet. Nothing pisses off kids more than not being able access Wikipedia and YouTube.
Instead, I will pay vast sums of money to Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, and other companies in order to acquire software that is used to block porn and other stuff. It worked for China, why shouldn't it do the same for me?
Three Words: Iranian Election Fiasco.
Although I enjoy More Dakka and a wide selection of BFGs as much as anyone, and it does wonders for establishing my superiority over the hero's nation, once superiority has been achieved, I will withdraw all such weapons from service in my armies, as well as all armored vehicles and aircraft. My forces may question this decision, but when the hero begins his first mission and realizes he will never acquire a weapon more powerful than his starting pistol or enjoy a vehicle section, he will resign in disgust and learn to live under my rule.
I will not leave the keys in these vehicles. They will be provided to NPCs in the form of implanted security chips. Any NPC able to start a vehicle will be situated a very long way from the vehicles in question, and must be escorted to said vehicles by the heroes. These NPCs will have one hit point. Possibly half a hit point.
I will not have anyone work on a project involving something that had killed their families or traumatized in any way without their explicit consent.
If my lead researcher's family was killed by my Computer Assisted Biologically Augmented Lifeform, I won't have her in charge of my Logarithmically Engineered Governing Intelligence? especially if essential in obtaining the artifact necessary for my ascension. I'm looking at you, Kane.
If I am the most powerful being in the universe and am fighting the hero in personal combat, I will not hold back my true power or give him a handicap of any kind just to make things interesting.
Especially if there is sand and small, sharp, bladed weapons.
The Smash Mook and the Mighty Glacier will not be provided with melee weapons. They will take advantage of their strength by dual-wielding flamethrowers. Not the realistic kind, but the kind that fires in a wide cone. And they will only guard hallways. Dodge that, hero.
Preferably the kind of hallways that are right around a corner, lest the hero decide to take advantage of the lack of range on a flame-thrower. That's when the big guy should switch to his backup mini-gun.
Alternatively, I will give them both long-range weapons and short-range/melee weapons or weapons that double as both, like a flail or a battleaxe that has a machine gun or two built into it. If I do give them just a flail, I will keep the hallway smooth and free of features that the hero can climb, swing, or clawshot onto. And I will also give all minions a handgun as a backup weapon, so if the hero does manage to get behind them, they can let go of the big heavy ball on a chain and Just Shoot Him.
I will observe the hero's habits and try doing some research on him/her. If s/he is one of those heroes who doesn't even try to dodge incoming fire in a dramatic scene, I will always try to create as much drama as possible and shoot towards him once to save ammo.
If I have a super weapon that I don't have to worry about the ammo for, I'll freaking use it.
I will give my minions armor that actually does something, and I will wear the same armor to confuse my enemy.
I will hire a comedian to make sure my one liners are damn funny so that I can kill my enemies while they're laughing.
If a twentieth century British police box appears out of nowhere, I will summarily drop whatever plans I have and make myself scarce. Said plans are almost certainly going to be thwarted.
In the event that the darned contraption follows me, making my Beautiful But Evil Daughter look like Rose Tyler and sending her to distract the occupant may buy me some time.
Dropping all plans and hiding may be premature. Police box occupants are often willing to offer a reasonable settlement before resorting to wholesale thwarting of evil plans. If, for example, I am offered some perfectly nice unoccupied planet elsewhere to take over in lieu of the Earth, or some means to achieve my research goals without needing to kick dogs by the thousand, I will not refuse unless I have a very, very good reason indeed.
If a police box appears out of nowhere, and I am notified immediately, I will obtain the police box and attempt to send it to a parallel universe. I will ensure that no occupants have left the box first, however. If nothing else, the occupants will be delayed for a couple of episodes before the box shows up again. During these episodes, I will build a good reputation, and put my more obvious evil operations on hold. When the box returns, I'll be a benevolent leader, and with any luck, the occupants will instead defeat one of my rivals.
If I turn a named good guy into a mindless drone, either through mind control or more... invasive methods, I will make sure any superfluous memories and emotions are permanently obliterated. If I cannot do this without making them mindless, I will give them identity-concealing helmets and ship them to a Throw-Away Country for life. I will never under any circumstances order them to kill their friends.
Speaking of that last point, if I discover one of my lieutenants has a past personal connection to the hero, I will not push my luck by either ordering him to kill/brutalize the hero or treating the hero brutally while the lieutenant is watching (and most certainly not while they are the only other two in the room, Palpatine). In fact, I will ideally have the lieutenant killed to be safe. If he is a trusted one and/or I don't feel like shopping for a replacement, I will casually mention his unused vacation time and hold off action against the hero until the lieutenant is sipping martinis in the Bahamas.
However, before using missiles to nuke aforesaid magical ice cream cake lands, I will first consider crop sabotage, introduction of invasive species, or other more low-key alternatives that do not implicate me. Long-shots be damned, nuking a country will still get their neighbors pissed off, and if the invasive species is cute enough then the inhabitants should accept them as their own, allowing the satisfaction of twisted irony that you just don't get from watching explosions.
One of my trusted lieutenants will be a leading folklore expert familiar with obscure stories from across the globe. There's no reason that Genre Savviness should be exclusive to Western and Japanese media. This especially applies if All Myths Are True.
I will hire Shakespeare, Nostradamus, and all other famous historical persons who can perform such tasks if I have the chance.
If I ever hear of a prophecy that I will not die until some improbable sequence of events occurs, I will immediately hand it over to my elite team of lawyers, philosophers and cryptic crossword enthusiasts to look for any loopholes that the heroes could exploit.
I will be certain to include my 5-year-old adviser in this newly formed team as well.
Isn't there supposed to be a 5-year-old adviser on all advisory teams/boards/cabinets?
If a prophecy tells me that my child will eventually kill me, and if I have children anyway, I will always treat them with kindness and love, and teach them to agree with my cause wholeheartedly, not just follow them. I will not disown them, try to kill them, or mistreat them in any way. That way, when their actions inevitably kill me, it will be an accident, and they will carry on my legacy.
Also, this ensures that, should my children one day disagree with my methods and scheme to stop me, they will still agree with my ideals and my mission, and thus continue my legacy as well (hey, it worked for Ra's Al Ghul... sort of...)
This also increases the chances that "kill me" means "switch off the machine after I fall into a peaceful coma at age 125".
I will make sure to give my child immortality, along with myself. This ensures that "eventually" is stretched to its limit.
At some point I will arrange to switch bodies with my child while leaving a device inside my original body that activates should my child's orginal body AKA my new body dies and destroys my child's mind while putting a copy of my mind takes over... That way even if he does fufill the prophecy in anyway either by me killing my old body while possesing my child's body or by the child killing my new body I'll still live through it while staying on top.
I will not favor any ethnic group or culture over any others in my empire. While the idea of an unstoppable master race may have its appeal and members of such race would be more likely to have my undying support, this will only encourage otherwise pacifist groups to actively join the rebellion.
Also, encouraging ethnic diversity is a good way to make sure that your minions remain competent.
A Power And Skill Threshold for minions will be established. If a Leeroy Jenkins or other incompetent shows himself, I will check his or her place on the Power Chart. If he or she scores above or very close to the Power Threshold, I will employ the above method of mind control to prevent such incompetence. If they score below the Power Threshold, I will have them immediately dunked in electrified acid.
Also, any deathtraps I do have installed will have three-tier backups, and be initiated instantly. Lowering the heroes into my electric acid vat a couple inches at a time just gives them a longer period to figure out how to bypass the lasers, Deathbot Squad, and Bottomless Pit which infinitely shoots out mutants.
If I have the power to shapeshift, I will make myself look like an adorable little girl holding a teddy bear. Rather than killing or maiming people in an adorable way and thusly scaring the shit out of everyone, I will use tears, begging, tantrums, and smiles to manipulate others into doing my nefarious bidding, and then quietly send them on year-long all-expenses paid vacations somewhere bucolic. That way, people will love me and want to protect me when the hero comes in swinging rather than hand me over to him. If all else fails, I will maintain my adorable exterior rather than revealing my true form; even if they have definitive proof that I am an evil spawn from the depths of hell, even the brooding Anti-Hero will hesitate before killing a little girl, and while they are hesitating I will pull a dainty miniature Derringer from inside my teddy bear, shoot the hero in the head, and make a speedy exit. Because nobody ever expected Maggie to shoot Mr. Burns.
If I ever want to keep a diary, it will be encrypted in a code no one besides me knows, and there will be no crucial information, which means no plans, names, dates, sites or information regarding anything that could be used to bring me down.
If I get that dragon, I wish make sure they are - or make sure they become - a perfectly sportsmanlike and amicable player who is aware of their humanity, to not give them a Tempting Fate of being being defeated by a sportsmanlike and amicable hero-player while they do not consider the possibility of them losing.
Alternately, my Dragon can help me with my invasion and I'll hire a 19-year-old boy or three to conquer the game world. I'll pay him in chips, soft drink and the opportunity to play in a room in my fortress, far from any parents nagging him to get a real job. My gamer knowing or caring about my overall plan is optional; so long as I phrase any orders I might have for him as a self-imposed limitation or challenge he'll follow them.
On the other hand, sending copies of the games to everyone in my Empire is a good idea, they will be to busy playing the games to do anything else. And I'll play them anyway. I'm an Evil Overlord, I should be able to play whatever games I want.
I will never, ever, let one person do all my ruling for me. Then I'm not the one who's the evil overlord.
However, I will remember that delegation is a good thing in moderation. My evil empire should not start falling to pieces just because I'm busy dealing with a group of heroes. Nor should it fall apart because I got food poisoning and can't come into the office for the next week.
If I have to sign huge piles of papers, I will read all of them. It takes a long time, but it's a worthy trade-off for making sure my minions aren't trying to sneak something past me. Also, if I want something written, like a letter or a proclamation, I will dictate it myself. If anything at least as advanced as a typewriter is present in the setting, and my typing skills are such that I don't have to spend three minutes looking for each key, I will write it myself.
But in the latter case, I will still have my squad of lawyers and my five year old adviser read it over to see if there are any loopholes I might have missed.
If there is only one person who can do something, like work a certain metal or cast a certain spell, I will offer them employment with me. If they refuse, I will send guards to make sure that they come to no harm, and that the hero can't avail himself of their services. If the guards fail, I will coat them with honey... no, actually, good guards are too hard to come by. Screw it, I'll coat them anyway; if they failed, they obviously aren't good enough.
I will never assume that someone is stupid just because they don't know something, like basic mathematics or how to spell a certain word. They may know a lot of things I may just need.
I will ensure that all punishments within my empire fit the crime. Nothing inspires a rebellion like the death penalty for ripping off a mattress tag. Minor crimes WILL NOT be punishable by death... or torture... or an ass whuppin. Rape, kidnapping, and murder (or the attempt to do any of these) may result in harsh punishment, but you won't get the shit kicked out of you for stealing an apple.
Whenever I kill an incompetent assassin, I will endeavor to keep his or her fate a mystery, and order a full security audit, to find out how said assassin was able to breach the outer layer of defences. I will consider pretending to have died or been gravely wounded while I sort out who is responsible for this.
If I kill two or more incompetent assassins in short succession, I will act under the assumption that the assassins are a diversion for some other action, and order an increase in military alert.
And / or consider that if they're able to break into my place in the first place, either they're better than I thought (with support or not) or my security is seriously lacking in quality.
I will get my scientists to give my minions nano-machines. I will then get them to make all doors and weapons respond to these and only these. This way the hero can't steal weapons or keys.
If this is not possible, I will use my wealth to put individual locks on each door. Since the user recognition for weapons already exist I'll have those anyway.
If my lair has hazards which a certain magic item can help the hero bypass said item will be placed in the section where the hero would need it.
On the far side of the section where he would need it. Since, presumably, my minions would be coming from the inside and not the outside.
My hazardous material oceans will be devoid of platforms that can help the hero get across. There will be alternate routes hidden throughout my lair for use by my minions so they don't need to deal with the lava/acid/toxic water/spike pits.
I will have at least 3 snipers hidden in various locations while I'm out making public appearances. Guarding these snipers will be a large group of soldiers. I will not deny my mortality and the fact that everyone in a high ranking position has at least 1 person who wants them dead.
After becoming king/president/god/Fuhrer/leader I will make everyone's lives way better. Then, while planning to do evil things, I'll have armies of loyal subjects who believe me to be the best thing to happen to the world since sliced bread (which I may have to invent for them, making it the best thing to happen since me).
If I'm not careful, that might make me the Good Overlord, though. And I'd need a different list.
If anyone attempts to kill me they will be tortured for the rest of their life in a prison in the coldest place on the planet. Combine with the fact that I'll be considered the best ruler ever (from the above) there will be no reason for anyone to ever attempt to kill me.
If the region is sufficiently large and cold and secluded, there will be no need for a prison. I'll just pitch the dissenters off the train and tell them to build their own utopia if they don't like mine. Anyone who tries to get back will certainly freeze to death.
I will be very modest. I will regularly talk about God being my lord (regardless of if I'm trying to steal a holy artifact and become a god myself). This may keep people from suspecting me of being the evil demon ravaging the world.
However, I will avoid this tactic if religion conflicts is common in my universe. When there are Buddhist monks and The Four Gods around, God Is Evil trope usually occur.
I will have my scientists work on projects that would benefit the people (curing cancer and AIDs, breeding plants to grow in a very short time and continue to produce all year round). Who would want to kill the guy who gave you the crop that put an end to world hunger?
Preferably, those scientists will be the same ones that also developed my bio-weapons for me on a part-time basis. While their weapon-research will be backed-up frequently, their altruistic works will not, and they will be instructed to tell this last part to the hero when he comes to kill them.
While I understand that any minions that work for me are likely to be evil, I'll make it very clear that when I say I want a specific girl killed, I do NOT want them to go all lecherous when they get her. My minions will understand that if I ever find any of my men with a girl who 'is going to die anyway, so we can have some fun first', they will have the body part they were thinking with forcibly removed. If they just do the job I told them to and come back on the other hand, they'll get a coupon for the Red Light district as a bonus.
There will be a Red Light District inside my secret base. Happy minions are productive minions.
If any of my lieutenants has left to deal with the heroes, and I hear the other lieutenants comment that 'he's the weakest of us', it means he was killed by the heroes 20 seconds ago. I'll plan accordingly.
If there is only one group of heroes threatening me at that given moment, why would I only send one of my lieutenants to deal with them? Sending all of my lieutenants simultaneously would allow them to bond and function better as a team.
All my guards will be trained by Ex-Spetznaz agents and MMA fighters. Should they be disarmed they will still be able to beat their assailant.
Train them in Krav Maga and MCMAC too. Krav Maga teaches you what to do in case the hero's mooks are smart enough to gang up on you instead of dancing around in a threatening manner while one of them is being beaten up. MCMAC teaches you unarmed combat, armed combat, and what to do if your gun runs out bullets (Hint: Guns are heavy enough to be excellent clubs.)
My town guards won't be sociopathic assholes who bother people just because they have weapons and are the servants of the leader.
Burning fields and slaughtering cattle is a very visible way to show how evil I am. But I will bear in mind that not only does it help draw allies for the hero, doing it too often can wreak havoc on the economy and cause famine. I will instruct my legions accordingly.