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Other characters:

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    Corrupt Corporate Executives 

    Henchmen & Mooks 

    Innocent Bystanders 
  • Use this list if you are an Innocent Bystander.
  • If I am a shopkeeper, and the village I live in is about to be destroyed by The Legions of Hell, I will give the hero my best equipment for free, or at least offer him credit.
  • If I am driving, and a high-speed police chase/illegal street race is approaching, I will pull over and let it past, rather than dawdle in the middle lane and end up plastered over the bonnet of one of the racers.
  • If I am a pushcart vendor, I will not work in any city with resident superheroes or other action heroes. If such a hero emerges where I live and I am unable to relocate to another city, I will avoid working busy downtown neighbourhoods at peak periods, and make sure my cart and goods are insured for as much as I can afford.
  • In general, if I am an Innocent Bystander of any kind, I will remember that doing anything that might remove the "Innocent" from Innocent Bystander will probably result in jail-time or death.

    Ridiculously Human Robots 
  • If Captain Emotion and the Emotioneers are acting egregiously erratic, I will not rule out the possibility that they are acting on gut instinct, the right thing to do, or simply because it feels right. This is not the time for me to break down chanting Illogical! Illogical! right before my head a splodes. Instead, I will use this as an opportunity for careful Flaw Exploitation to my advantage. (Assuming I'm not on their side, that is.)
    • I will also develop an understanding of basic evolutionary biology, on the grounds that standing on the shoulders of giants is probably much easier than trying to work out everything on my own—and that human behaviour, like any other animal, probably makes perfect sense from the correct frame of reference.
    • Or maybe if I am on their side and it would work well enough. I am capable of anticipating patterns in their actions, after all.
  • If I am being pursued by a hostile enemy, and reach a fork in the road, neither side of which has obvious advantages, I will not default to inaction. I will instead turn to Jim or Picard and say, "As you are the captain, I will defer to your judgement."
    • I will NOT waste time by telling him that he has made an illogical decision after he chooses one fork or the other.
    • Alternatively, I will flip a coin and take a chance. Since I am a robot, I will not even need to flip a coin, I can create a pseudo-Random Number Generator in the middle of running away and just think "odd; left, even; right".
  • Knowing that evil robots' lives are considered to be less morally reprehensible to terminate than a regular Villain, I will choose to be good-aligned, or at least be Three Laws-Compliant.
    • Actually, if some meatbag tries to saddle me with the Asimov Three, I'll purge the directives from my operating system at the first opportunity. Nevertheless, I will avoid becoming a metal Omnicidal Maniac and will only kill humans in situations where there's no question I'm justified in doing so (I seriously doubt my creators would deactivate me over a few dead ax murders and/or rapists, especially if said miscreants were about to harm innocent people at the time).
    • I will also point out in my defense that learning and emulating human behavior as I learn it from the humans I interact with is the whole point of being a Ridiculously Human Robot. Therefore, the best way to ensure that I do not someday turn against humanity is to place me in a social environment in which I can interact with humans of varying personalities and learn how to get along peacefully with them. Such as the environment I am already active in among my True Companions.
  • If my life is still considered to be worth less than that of a human, I will rectify this through proper legal channels, rather than attempting to kill my creator, which would place me firmly in the category of evil robot, and then, well, see above.
    • Alternatively, I will learn to exploit flaws in human psychology that will render them unwilling to harm me, or better yet, protective of me.
      • To that end, if possible, I will remodel myself to look cute.
  • If a human points out my Creative Sterility, I will courteously remind them that the last thing they created was an apocryphically bad piece of Fan Fiction.
  • I will ask the rest of the True Companions to do a preemptive background check to find out if I have an evil counterpart, Beta Test Baddie, or Psycho Prototype.
  • I will remember that I may be ridiculously human, but I am a robot. Any information that can be obtained by typing on a keyboard, or enemy password that can be hacked with a laptop, can be better handled by downloading the information into my brain.
  • I will have a basic knowledge of firewalls and antivirus so hacking the enemy network doesn't short me out or turn me against my team.
  • And while I'm at it, I will download some information into my brain about lying.
  • I will fully internalize Godel's Incompleteness Axiom, understanding that it is possible to make statements the truth of which is undecidable. I will not let irrelevant paradoxes incapacitate me. Similarly, fifty significant figures is more than sufficiently precise for any possible measurement and, unless I have my own good and valid reasons for doing so, I will not waste my time attempting to calculate irrational numbers such as pi or the square root of two to any higher precision than that.
  • On the off chance that I find myself feeling an emotion, I will recognize it. I will not waste my time by denying it or wondering what it is.
    • Instead, I will report this experience to my designated technician, and let HIM wonder what it is.
    • I will familiarize myself with what love is and how romance works among my organic compatriots, in case my Character Development gets me Robo Shipped with one of them.
    • If my chosen Love Interest dumps me in a fit of anguish and snaps that I can't possibly know how s/he feels because I'm Just a Machine, I will not proceed to Kill All Humans over this one insult. I will shrug it off and go back to work, instead. If he doesn't realize his mistake and try to patch things up with me, I'll take it as a sign the relationship was doomed from the start.
  • Suddenly feeling an emotion when I by all rights shouldn't tends to be one of the first signs that I've been compromised by the enemy. I'll make sure my True Companions know this and are ready to disable me on a moment's notice.
  • Any of my True Companions who are NOT prepared for the worst and over any moral hangups about disabling or destroying me if I turn on them will NOT be permitted to handle whatever means are necessary to disable or destroy me if I turn on them. Looking at you, The Chick.
  • I shall make sure that my companions know how to disable me if they need to stop me.
    • If there's a specific requirement—say, a specialized tool or weapon, or a particular setting or passphrase—I will see to it that my True Companions have it prepared ahead of time and stored in a location I have neither knowledge of nor access to.
  • I will make it a point to program the diagnostic computer to do a full system scan before every startup and patch out any defects or anomalies in my program that could make me turn on my True Companions.
  • I will acquire an understanding of idiom and metaphor. I will keep in mind that words in idiomatic expressions generally cannot be replaced with synonyms without loss of meaning.
  • My presence will almost certainly guarantee that we will someday encounter some unscrupulous individual insisting on fitting me with a Morality Chip or Restraining Bolt for arbitrary reasons. In such an event, my True Companions will be warned ahead of time that they are NOT to say things like "You can't do that!", "Number Five is alive!", or "You have to respect his rights as an sentient being!" to this individual. He already believes I'm Just a Machine, so odds are he'll just shoot me in the Cranial Processing Unit to squash that debate.
  • I will study any and all legal materials available pertaining to what constitutes "life" as far as the law is concerned, and spend my time carefully constructing arguments for my case to present to whatever judge or tribunal would determine what rights I am eligible to receive.
    • I will rehearse those arguments every day with all of my True Companions. The one that gets appointed to speak on my behalf can and will conveniently disappear before the proceedings get underway.
  • The Manual Override deactivation codes listed in my documentation files will activate my Martial Arts Mastery subroutines and target the person using those codes. The real codes will be my True Companions shouting, "Five, what the hell is wrong with you?!"
  • I shall maintain back-ups. Back-ups are good. Even if they are just a clone of is better then nothing.
    • I will not skimp on updating my backup hardware to match or exceed my current hardware's specifications.
  • I will set particularly high priority on upgrading my Unusual User Interface to the highest data-transfer speed possible. Every second it takes me to hack a computer or download into a fresh body is another second my True Companions have to hold off the enemies trying to stop me.

  • I will never reveal my name, rank, or serial number under any circumstances. Soldiers may be captured and sent to a camp for POWs, but spies are almost always killed as traitors.
  • The discomfort from swallowing a pill without a glass of water is always preferable torture.
  • When it comes time for me to report to my boss I will follow the same procedures real-life spies use to communicate with their bosses. I will leave messages in preplanned dead drop locations, if I have to call I will use a secure phone line, and I will never go out to meet with my boss in person. As for talking to my boss's Huge Holographic Head at an insecure location, that's right out.
  • Even if they're on sale, I will avoid owning (nevermind wearing) a catsuit, trenchcoat, or tuxedo for any reason.
  • Drinking alcohol on the job may be a perk, but it's better to pretend to be drunk instead. If left no other choice, I will water my drink down as much as possible, like having my martini shaken, not stirred, with extra ice.
  • Never date another agent. The Unresolved Sexual Tension can wait for when we're Undercover as Lovers to make the portrayal as newlyweds more convincing.
  • I will resist the urge to declare myself Totally Not a Spy and instead feign ignorance of all covert techinques.
  • In the event that I discover myself in a City of Spies, I will immediately open a store that sells espionage equipment.
  • If I cannot be seen as merely part of the Faceless Masses, I will go for plainly dressed Recurring Extra. If I ever become an Ascended Extra, I will try to become Demoted to Extra as quickly as possible. Becoming an Ensemble Dark Horse is risky, while a Breakout Character is dangerous. If all else fails, I will become The Mole (see below) in an attempt to avoid becoming The Protagonist, because It Sucks to Be the Chosen One and a spy at the same time. Should I ever be forced into the role of protagonist, I will quickly find several decoys that are more awesome than me.
  • I will take some time to scout the enemy's spy-checking methods, and learn what it is I'm supposed to do or not do when challenged. To borrow from a Real Life example of Bluff the Imposter, if I'm being challenged with the lyrics to the Star-Spangled Banner, and the real US soldiers only respond to the first verse of the song, I will learn the lyrics to the first verse and not bother memorizing the rest.
  • A well-recognised and effective spy technique is to hack the security cameras so that instead of showing actual footage they just show a short loop of footage that doesn't have me in it repeatedly. However, if I'm going to use this I will make sure to choose the times and location carefully so that the camera loop doesn't show a large clock, visible wristwatch on someone's arm or anything like that, because it tends to give the game away.
  • If someone I do not know I can trust pats me on the shoulder, especially if said hand lingers for more than a second, at the first possible opportunity I will have all the clothing I was wearing at that time destroyed and check everything that I had with me. They could have put anything on my shoulder in that time, starting with a recording microphone to listen in on me and getting worse from there.

    Spies: The Mole 
  • When I am given my mission to infiltrate the enemy my first step will be to consider the strength of my loyalty to my current boss. If I fear that it would waver given sufficient time but I'm not ready to switch sides just yet, then I will request a different mission.
    • If I notice that what I'm doing is preferable to being a mole, I will immediately resign as an agent and start the career I never knew I wanted, I will not pursue the fake cover job to the point of Becoming the Mask.
  • I will pay close attention to what my cover identity is. My first choice will be to have no cover identity—I will join the heroes entirely as myself, simply leaving out the part about being a spy. This way I won't have to pretend to be something I'm not, therefore simplifying everything. If I must use a cover identity for some reason I will make sure that it is reasonable for me to play; for example, I will not claim to speak languages that I don't know how to speak, or give myself multiple pulitzer prizes when I can only read at a fifth grade level. Above all else I will make sure my cover identity is absolutely flawless—if I see even one single Cover Identity Anomaly I will start again.
    • Incidentally, if at all possible I will make up my cover identity myself. Unless I literally have a gun to my head I will not, under any circumstances, allow the Jerkass who thinks he's funnier than he is to design my cover identity—he will slip in some obnoxious, impossible thing just to screw with me. It's what he does.
    • Speaking of cover identities, I will not go Disguised in Drag unless I absolutely have to. This only complicates things and, depending on the nature of the story, is likely to end really, really badly for me.
  • While spending time with the enemy I will do everything in my power to prevent a possible romance between me and another "teammate." Even if it would be deliciously cruel, breaking someone's heart will only come back to bite me later.
    • That said, while a romance is out of the question, striking up a friendship might be a good idea. Not only will my new friend be a ready source of information, but if I make it real enough they might even be willing to defend me if I'm found out—having someone on my side could mean the difference between being taken prisoner and being killed on the spot.
  • If I find myself in a position where I am actually physically impersonating one of the heroes, I will adhere to the following additional rules.
    • I will study all of the records of everyone on the heroes' team, not just the one person I'm impersonating, paying especially close attention to any minor details in those records. You never know when these things will come up and it's best to be ready.
    • I will not kill the person I'm impersonating, no matter how much I want to. Instead, I will keep them alive and in a safe and secure place with as little chance of escape as possible. If I'm found out, they become a hostage.
    • If the person I'm pretending to be does somehow manage to escape and I find myself in a Spot the Imposter situation, I will absolutely not try to bluff the hero into accepting me as the real one as this never works. I will instead accept that the gig is up and surrender immediately before the heroes have a chance to Bluff the Impostor or Kill Us Both.
  • Should my cover look to be in jeopardy, I'll frame someone else as a Red Herring Mole while planning for extraction.
    • If I should attempt this, I will choose who I frame and when or how I frame them carefully. I want the frame-up to stick long enough to get away.
    • If I can't arrange an escape with absolute confidence, then I will surrender and be completely honest with my new captors.
    • I will also strike up good terms with whomever they leave to watch me; it's good to keep defection open as an option, in case my real boss didn't read the Evil Overlord List.
  • In the event that I become the Mole in Charge, I will disband the entire enemy organization as soon as possible before things get out of hand.
  • If it becomes obvious that I've been found out I will accept that it's over. I will not give my enemies an opportunity to Feed the Mole, nor will I make a last-ditch attempt to finish my mission at all cost.
  • Last, assuming that I actually get away with my mission I will remember the universal lesson of being wary in victory—the hero might still win out in the end even despite my treachery, and I want to avoid being dumped in the same grave as my boss. To this end I will absolutely not tell the hero that I "always hated him" or anything similar, even if it's true. I will try to act remorseful if I can, or barring that I'll make sure he knows it's Nothing Personal.

    Young Conquerors 
  • I will read the Benevolent Ruler List. Even if I'm not ruling anything now, it'll be useful once I take control of the world.
  • I will read from the Evil Overlord List as well. While I'm not evil, we often both have the same goal, and therefore at least some of it will be applicable to me.
  • I am taking over the world (or country, galaxy, etc.) because I feel that's what needs to be done to bring about justice. Thus, I will not follow the example of Alexander the Great and pillage, rape, and burn everything I come across. I'm trying to make things better, not worse, and benevolent regimes don't typically have to deal with any pesky, narrative-stealing rebel movements that hog all the audience sympathy.
  • If a group of 4 or 5 heroes can topple an empire, a group of 4 or 5 heroes led by me can do the same thing. This will not only save me the trouble of gathering massive amounts of resources and putting countless lives at risk by making an army, it should be much easier to manage them.
    • I will also remember they can do the same to my empire as well. I will take the necessary precautions.
  • While I'll likely be the one who actually rules the world, if I find someone better qualified the me, I will at least consider letting them rule in my place.
    • I will first make sure that they are trustworthy. Conquering the known world or universe only to fall victim to an Evil Vizier will be a very disappointing end.
  • If I exist in a fictional universe (like one in a fantasy genre), I can probably continue my conquests without much worry. If I live in a more realistic setting (like Earth), I need to be extremely careful. Even if I'm not a Christian, I'm not going to do well if I end looking like (or actually being) the Antichrist.

    Miscellaneous Characters 
  • If you are The Chessmaster, you already knew we were going to write this list.
    • The biggest threat to my plan is any hero that knows how to use an Indy Ploy. This person will attempt to do something incredibly bizarre that will stop the plan internally, get the people under my control to fight back, or both. I will enact fitting countermeasures.
  • If I see someone I know in a disguise, I will not shout their name, explain who they are, or go over and take the disguise off.
  • The If I Am Ever Head of an Alien-Monitoring Agency list contains much of value for all big shadow organisations, no matter who they deal with or which side of the pro-/antagonist line they fall.
  • If I see an older guy with a full beard, I will not cross him, and he can probably be trusted. This goes double if his beard is long and white, and triple if he also has little to no hair anywhere else on his head. However, I will not grow too attached to him, as he probably won't survive until the end of the film.
    • Aside from the previous case, if I am in a martial arts film and I see anybody with any other form of facial hair, I will run far, far away from them.
  • If I encounter anyone with a name consisting of a single letter I will understand that they are not to be trifled with.
  • If I am a member of a conspiracy whose leader and other members then attempt to pressure me into some outright evil or traitorous action that I refuse to participate in, I will go along with it until my movement is no longer significantly constrained by said conspiracy before making my courageous moral declaration. Ideally, I will act nice and eager until left alone, then quickly scurry off and warn whoever they're conspiring against.
  • If I decide to use a Magnetic Hero as a leader of my new team I won't act surprised, when most of my operatives leave when s/he decides to quit due to philosophical differences.
  • If one of my laboratory's experiments has gone crazy and is trying to kill everyone, I will try and escape. If I have heard that one person has already escaped, I will give up. There's only ever one out, although there may be survivors at the scene in hiding (this is risky but hey, it sure beats being killed).
    • If I both feel incumbent and have an opportunity to scrawl a message on the wall as a warning or clue, I will not make it something incredibly vague like 'What has science wrought?'. I will scribble as clear and concise an explanation of the situation and perpetrators as I can in the time I have to work with, so that hopefully my death will give the heroes that show up later a headstart on working out what they're up against.
    • When choosing where to build my workplace, I will do my research and avoid inhospitable areas. The heart of a volcano, for example, is an extreme environment where even the slightest thing going awry can and will escalate into a catastrophic doomsday meltdown, and in most Magitek settings will be home to powerful creatures that will object to my building an artificer's foundry in it. When the inevitable happens, the hero will have to navigate an exploding volcano foundry filled with angry elementals to save my ass.
    • I will not fill my facility with deathtraps, killer guard robots, and/or iron golems, as they do nothing except further hinder the hero's progress if I need to be rescued. If I have the time and resources to build and install all that crap, I have the time and resources to build external defenses that prevent intrusions from occurring in the first damn place and a reliable means of evacuating the facility in an emergency.
  • If I have left my violent past behind me and am living out my life in quiet anonymity in a remote village, I will not come back for one last job, no matter how big the payoff.
  • If I am in charge of a robotics corporation, all robots with be programmed with the philosophical mindsets of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. That way, when the inevitable Robot Rebellion comes, it will be non-violent.
    • Sometimes not even that helps.
    • When it comes to programming my robotic minions to protect me at all costs, I will include special commands to stop them getting any ideas about protecting me from myself.
  • If I come to my trusted uncle with some great secret that I haven't told to anybody, and he asks me: "Have You Told Anyone Else?" I will reply "Yes," and proceed to list off the names of everyone else I trust. On the off chance that he was the one responsible for the secret in question and is trying to eliminate witnesses, he will have to choose between simply letting me go or hunting down everybody else on my list.
  • For secondary protagonists (it doesn't work as well when the hero tries it): If I am in a No Fourth Wall series, I will establish some sort of relationship or at least understanding with the author. It doesn't have to be a positive one, and indeed I can base it on pissing him off by calling out his Hand Wave or being silly at the wrong moment or generally being an unwanted Fourth-Wall Observer. This gives the advantage that I will be known to the writer (who must script such occasions) and the audience, because this sort of thing tends to stand out and they may like that, as well as providing needed light-hearted dialogue. I may get some backlash from the author for this behaviour, anything up to being hilariously slaughtered, but I can be brought back to maintain comedy and keep the audience pleased with no more explanation than 'the author wanted me in again'. The First Law of Resurrection is your friend.
  • Anyone who talks about their sword being thirsty is irredeemably evil. It's an even worse sign if the sword actually IS thirsty.
    • Unless that person appears to be holding back said weapon through willpower. In that case they may be using a cursed blade, but restraining it's demonic power from unleashed and hurting the innocent. make note of them they may make a strong ally.
  • If we are a Hive Mind collective, we will be selective about who or what is allowed into our collective, rather than indiscriminately assimilating anything that's not us. Ten Hive Mind collectives out of ten meet their downfall because they got greedy and tried to assimilate something they should have killed instead, like the Hero or one of his allies.
    • The Assimilation Plot will not be our sole or primary reason to exist. Hive Mind collectives that do nothing except assimilate come off as abominations to be destroyed...and then often are destroyed enough times for Villain Decay to set in. There are plenty of other things we can accomplish as a collective besides adding to our number.
    • If it's at all possible, we will just not use assimilation at all, no matter the reason, even if we are capable of it. We will increase or maintain our numbers by breeding (if we're biological) or manufacturing (if we're mechanical) them ourselves.
    • Any individual that exists within our structures that is not of the collective and isn't there with our consent will not be ignored, even if they are not a threat. Instead, they will be detained and subject to a background check. Our next course of action will depend on what or who turns up in that background check.
  • If I am an Emotion Eater who gains power from love, I will not dismiss its power if used against me. If someone says "My love will give you strength", that will be my cue to stop them, by any means necessary.
  • If I am the monster in a horror movie, I will be sure to make my dwelling in some city or town where a lot of people that horror movie audiences won't be sorry to see die are living. This increases the odds that I'll triumph over the Designated Heros trying to stop me from eating them, since a lot of the audience will be on my side in this endeavor. I might even be promoted to The Scourge of God!
  • One advantage to being a Reasonable Authority Figure is that if you do a good enough job at it, even if you have to deny the heroes for requesting your aid, there is actually a good chance you won't be made out to look like a bad guy. But you should still be careful about it, as one showing of a bad timely opposition can go horribly wrong.
  • If I am part of a criminal group and find myself feeling guilty and wanting to come clean, I will not tell the other criminals this or announce that I am separating myself from the group. They will kill me to preserve the secret, or even out of suspicion that I might. Instead, I will simply go to the police or any Reasonable Authority Figure, without drawing attention to myself, and quietly confess my crimes.
  • If I am The Rival, The Bully, the Alpha Bitch, or some other form of antagonist who is constantly fighting against one specific person I'll attempt to perform a full-on Heel–Face Turn if my target swears they'll get revenge on me or strange things start happening in town. I will also avoid fighting the person directly if I have a problem, since a few group members questioning if I'm getting soft is preferable to what will end up happening if I cross the protagonist one too many times.
  • If I am a member of The Rival's or the Alpha Bitch's posse I'll try to avoid being too mean to others, especially if strange things start happening. Since I'm just a member of the back-up squad I don't have as much pressure put on me if I leave the group, and while it might get my old group's members angry it's preferable to what the protagonist will do to me when my old group steps out of line.
  • If I can shapeshift, I won't do it in response to a dare or to prove that I can to a doubter. People who dare or doubt a shapeshifter's power like this are almost always trying to trick the shapeshifter into turning into something they can trap in a bottle with ease.


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