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  1. If I have already taken over the world, I will start a plan of economic improvement in the area likely to be the Hero's base. Important parts of the plan will include buying up old warehouses (and using or demolishing them) and increasing the number of cool-but-time-consuming jobs available for unskilled labor.
  2. If a previously powerless hero has started glowing brightly and exhibiting god-like powers, for fuck's sake I mustn't shoot them. Instead, I will say they have shown me the true power of good, that evil is flawed and weak, and that I shall change my kingdom. When they have stopped glowing (as these things tend to be short lived), then I'll shoot them.
  3. If I absolutely, positively, pathologically must taunt the hero with my plan, I will first have a qualified Doctor cut his spinal cord. You don't see too many quadriplegic protagonists.
  4. Alternatively, I will do the spinal cutting myself. If I screw up, literally what is the worst that could happen?
  5. Should my enemy use some powerful war machines usable by any child, I'll covertly recruit teen fans of relevant simulators in appropriate numbers, promising them a chance to pilot the real thing.
  6. I will never create an army of clones.
  7. I will never clone myself to have a backup body.
  8. If I do clone myself to have a backup body, I will keep the clone in stasis until needed. I will also perfect a foolproof method of transferring my consciousness between clone bodies, because the point here is for me to conquer the world. My identical twin doing it just isn't the same.
  9. If I do build an Amusement Park Of Doom, I won't go the tired old deathtrap-roller-coaster route. It's too obvious, and cost-ineffective. Instead, I'll just overcharge for beverages, and never let the hero realize they're financially supporting my evil schemes.
  10. To be truly evil, I'll make the beverages free. Then I'll install overpriced pay toilets.
  11. Alternatively, the drinks are free but laced with slow-acting poison to which only I (supposedly) have the cure. I will use this as leverage to force the heroes to get me a MacGuffin, at which point I will break tradition and actually give the hero the cure I promised. However, the 'cure' I give will actually be a fast-acting poison that kills him in half an hour.
  12. If I ever feel the need to slow down the hero's progress by placing doors that can only be opened once he has a certain number of Plot Coupons, I won't bother creating a large number of such doors requiring an increasing number of items. Instead there will be a single door, right at the beginning, that cannot be opened until the hero has all of them. Needless to say, all plot coupons will be on the other side of the door.
  13. I will not set up arbitrary puzzles to slow progress through my castle. If I really think that simply using a key/password/fingerprint scanner is not enough, then the only way to open the door will be to follow some obscure sequence of moves that is not hinted at anywhere, but that anyone authorized to pass will know.
  14. The password will not be "Swordfish". It will be a random series of letters, numbers, and even punctuation. Nobody ever thinks of punctuation. If I can't be bothered to spend 10 minutes memorizing a random-looking password that leads to everything important to my Evil Plan, I don't deserve to be Evil Overlord.
  15. The password will always be something referencing pop culture. Let's see how the hero born in the same year as me is surprised when he can't figure out that the password is 8675309!
  16. If at all possible, I will make a voice recognition system that can detect, without fail, who is stating the password. If the person stating the password is not recognized in the databanks, they will be asked to repeat it, in case it does fail to recognize someone. If they fail to be recognized again, they will be shot with a tranq, and an APB will be put out to my security team. If it turns out it was someone whose voice WAS in the databanks, the Dev team will restart it immediately or be fired. Or shot, if I'm feeling angry that particular day.
  17. I will always keep in mind that nothing slows down the hero's progress quite like being dead, and remind myself not to settle for second best.
  18. If I am ever so bored as to feel the need to destroy a planet for my own amusement, I will blow up an uninhabited gas giant, rather than an insignificant blue planet with a population that might include potential heroes. Besides, gas giants blow up with satisfyingly dramatic explosions; they're more fun anyway.
  19. I may have a Fu Manchu mustache, but only if I am either a: Genre Savvy or b: extremely campy. And it's still not a good idea unless I happen to be both.
  20. I will follow the example of the original literary Fu Manchu and wear a false moustache or other obvious identifying feature while in public, thus making both anonymity and disguise easier.
  21. I will never execute one of my generals for failing to win a single battle despite his best efforts. After all, people make mistakes, and if he didn't consistently deliver results, I wouldn't have promoted him in the first place.
  22. The punishment for failure in my minions shall be demotion or dismissal, not execution. As said before, people make mistakes, and killing does not inspire loyalty or encourage new recruits to join. I may possibly even issue a warning not to let it happen again. I will be judicious with that one, but it does inspire loyalty.
  23. Should a messenger catch me and my evil consort in flagrante delicto, I will not remain in bed while listening to the message. I will instead excuse myself, put on a dressing gown, and go into the next room to hear what he has to say. If it's important enough for him to ignore the "Do Not Disturb" sign, I should probably be giving it my full attention.
  24. If the messenger's eyes wander too much, or if the message isn't important, he's fired, and should thank me for not killing him. Anyone who plans on taking a messenger job should be warned about interrupting my "private time" right off the bat, and they damn well better not forget.
  25. If I find the messenger in question attractive, (my current lover permitting) I may take wandering eyes to imply interest and invite them to join us. Later, after I've dealt with whatever the message was about.
  26. If the hero's father is no longer alive, I will use every bit of misinformation possible to make him believe that I am his real father. I will then drop hints that suggest that I am not beyond redemption. During an appropriate moment, I will pretend to return to goodness, and, while we embrace in a reconciliatory father-son moment, I will stab him in the back. Sucker.
  27. In a similar vein, if I am an actual member of the hero's family, I will also suggest that I am not beyond redemption. However, I will ensure that our relationship is common knowledge. This ensures that not only is the hero surely aware of it, but it also ruins his street cred. After all, who wants to be known as the nephew of the guy who killed 10,000 people because he was bored? When the moment to fake a return to goodness arises, I will insist on hugging my beloved nephew/cousin/son/whatever. At that point I will stab him in the back. Sucker.
  28. If I form a cult, it will be entirely made up just to rob people of money. There will be no supernatural elements, as that would just mean the spirit/god/demon/mystic phlebotinum/etc. would backfire on me eventually. Also, it just makes me sound silly.
  29. If I am a god or if I need believers in order to become one, I will make the cult as benign and agreeable as possible.
  30. If I have created several boss monsters that have lost to the hero already but are in my final dungeon, which the hero has penetrated, the hero will not have to fight all of them in a sequence. Rather, they, along with myself, will all attack the hero simultaneously. Or better, I will merge them into an Eldritch Abomination with no capabilities for thinking of a) superiority b) attacking me, or c) going insane and destroying everything.
  31. If I can create multiple copies of boss monsters, I will have them all fight the hero at once in the first place, and not wait for him to reach my stronghold, with all of those upgraded weapons and learned skills.
  32. As soon as I hear of a hero, I, in my most powerful form, along with all of the copies of all my boss monsters, will attack right then. Preferably at night when the hero is asleep.
  33. When I create a devastatingly powerful robotic or genetically engineered minion with only one elemental weakness, I will make absolutely certain that none of my other minions are carrying an easily stolen weapon designed to strike that weakness.
  34. Alternatively, it just won't have an elemental weakness. Seriously, how hard is it to fix such a glaring design flaw?
  35. If there is a literal Idiot Ball in my world, I will pretend it's my one weakness. Of course being an idiot is a weakness, but the heroes will carry it around this way.
  36. I will only select targets who are considerably more villainous or corrupt than I am. This lets me battle a variety of Acceptable Targets and Always Chaotic Evil monsters while still allowing me to get my therapeutic Evil Overlord kicks.
  37. I will either uphold somewhat idealistic enough tendencies to be considered the hero of the situation, or be extremely funny and sexy.
  38. I shall select only sympathetic, funny, and genuinely likable individuals for my lieutenants and trusted underlings. And I will at least try not to kill them.
  39. I will teach the hero and then turn him over to my side when he's smart. But not too smart. None of those overthrowing the overlord things here.
  40. I will be Genre Blind and Genre Savvy at the same time to throw off my enemies. For example, I'll allow my fortress to turn to rubble only to evacuate to a bigger, sturdier fortress than won't fall down the next time I'm defeated.
  41. There is no such thing as a fair fight. If I come across my nemesis while he is disarmed, then that is his problem, not mine.
  42. It is always polite to bow to your opponent. It is also very stupid as it leaves you open for attack. I will exploit this flaw as much as possible. Should I feel the need to bow to my opponent in return, I will bow at the waist to a minimal degree, ensuring that my eyes remain trained upon my opponent. The slightest movement while I am doing so will result in an automatic, preemptive attack on my part.
  43. I will not underestimate my enemies if they turn out to be little girls, even if they act sickeningly cute or just want to be friends. Hell, especially if they act sickeningly cute and just want to be friends. Such foes will be treated with the utmost care, from the utmost distance, and with the utmost destructive force, such as with a Kill Sat while they sleep. There are few things more damaging to an overlord's public image of fear and terror than getting beaten to a bloody pulp by prepubescent schoolgirls.
  44. I will not mess with evolution. It's really not worth the problems, and it never helps.
  45. I will actually read Machiavelli rather that counting on a soundbite. He said it's best to be both feared and loved if you can manage it.
  46. I will remember that philosophers such as Machiavelli offered very context-sensitive advice, and will endeavor to study these contexts thoroughly. I will NOT Quote Mine them for convenience.
  47. Sir Terry Pratchett is a wise man. I will study everything I can about Lord Vetinari. It may be better to be loved, or feared, but it is better to be permanent than either.
  48. If I want to kill some character who the hero likes without him trying to avenge his/her/their death, I will "accidentally" create an evil clone of the sidekick and let the evil clone infiltrate the hero's hideout and take the place of the sidekick; when the hero has finally found out who is the sidekick and has offed the clone, I will kill the sidekick and explain it by wanting to kill the evil clone, and voila: A hero without a sidekick and without a grudge. Me: 2, hero: 0.
  49. If it should come to pass that the hero is staring me down and he happens to know my evil plan for any reason, and he ever utters the immortal words "you'll never get away with this", I will not use the popular comeback "I already have" unless I am fairly certain that I actually have.
  50. My throne room will not feature a large hole into which I could fall, be thrown, or be pushed. However, other rooms in my lair will feature walkways above menacing vats of what appears to be bright green acid, into which I will jump or "accidentally" fall if I need to escape. These will actually contain water with green food coloring. These tanks will also have a fully ready scuba tank and breath mask located a few feet beneath the surface. Won't the heroes be surprised when I show up later, in perfect health (but with green skin)? After all, No One Could Survive That!. Suckers.
  51. Note: The vats will be tested on an hourly basis to confirm that some clever bastard has not gotten the bright idea to actually replace my beverage-escape-plan with actual acid.
  52. Additionally, if I should be dumb enough to use cloning (see #8 above), I will reserve a deceased and acid-destroyed clone of myself to float to the surface of the vats as "proof" of my demise. Fools!
  53. Anyone who uses the phrase "false sense of security" will be shot. If he's smart, the hero won't buy it anyway. If he's not, there are much more effective ways to kill him.
  54. When I've read the Evil Overlord List I will familiarize myself with any other similar lists. That way I'll know what I'm in for when I actually go up against competent opponents. If I discover any good advice in these lists then I will be sure to steal it so that I can make use of it myself.
  55. I will remember that very competent opponents will likely be doing the same thing in reverse.
  56. I will, however, note that not everyone goes into fiction that well and be ready to deal with Genre Blind idiots.
  57. If the magical ritual I am performing requires a Virgin Sacrifice, using the hero's girlfriend is just asking for trouble. To be on the safe side, I'll find a small child who is an orphan, whom no one cares about. And they will be kidnapped only when absolutely everything else is ready, to ensure a quick success.
  58. If virginity is really that important, I will select a homely child and carefully screen the minions responsible for the abduction so as to eliminate any with a known attraction to the child's gender or age.
  59. If I am concerned over my approval ratings, want to avoid doing something that'll ensure my Karmic Death or am simply not evil enough, then I'll ask for a volunteer and/or find a loophole that will allow a resurrection.
  60. I will always check the bare requirements for a Virgin Sacrifice, if possible I will use a eunuch cult member volunteer from my own cult or similar.
  61. I shall maintain numerous orphanages under my control. While I will make certain that the businesses themselves cannot be associated with me, I will publicly donate heaping gobs of money to them on a regular basis. This has the added benefit of letting me launder funds and get a tax break in the process. On the rare occasion I need a child I will publicly adopt them, only to have them die in a "tragic accident" shortly before the sacrifice. Another additional benefit: no one wants to kick a parent mourning the recent loss of their child and any hero who does so will look very bad.
  62. If I do go the route of sacrificing adopted orphans, I will ensure that not all of the children I adopt die in "tragic accidents," and that I'm not the only one whose foster children have a tendency to die in such 'unforeseen' accidents. The point here is to cover up that I'm sacrificing children, after all, and if my foster children always die, people are at least going to start wondering why I'm still allowed to adopt. I will also change up my cover stories a bit and have at least some of them "run away" and turn up dead some time later.
  63. If the requirements do not specifically say Human Virgin Sacrifice, I will get either the ugliest animal I can find, or use an animal destined for food. And hold a luau after the ceremony.
  64. Slavery is mayhem waiting to happen. Slavery does not loyal citizens make. A small wage and basic heath care plus care for the injured and elderly will not cost much more, but will buy loyalty.
  65. If I ever come to power in a nation that uses slavery, I will first abolish it. Next I will secretly stir up resentment against the former slave population to reduce their employment opportunities. Finally, I will offer the former slaves positions in my military, all the while getting good publicity among other nations who love how I dealt with the horrible slavery problem. This ensures loyalty in the military and a positive place in history even if the heroes take me down.
  66. My slavery will be more like a regular job. The worker slaves will get food, water, respect, and rest. But no breaks. And no vacations. Except holidays. Harem slaves will be given the most elegant (and sexy) clothes and jewels and beautiful rooms to sleep in.
  67. Never use a prototype unless the real version is ready for mass production. It will only get stolen by the Hero.
  68. I will not cut corners in the mass produced models to reduce costs.
  69. I will not allow any cells in my Prison of Doom to be furnished with bedsheets. Captives will be given tear-resistant sleeping bags instead. Good luck tying those together in the few hours between their evening and morning inspections for damage.
  70. No matter what its detrimental effects may be on my war machine, I will be eco-friendly. Killing the planet never ends well. I may awaken ancient nature spirits who give the hero power, or set all the animals in the forest after my blood, or simply have Mother Earth all up in my grille faster than you can say "gas-guzzling SUV", and no-one wants that. Instead, not only will I be environmentally friendly, I will actively seek out and befriend said nature spirits and animals, and send them after the hero.
  71. If I discover a species of Proud Warrior Race Guys threatened by extinction, I will not wipe out what's left of them in order to gain access to their technology and weapons. This would just prompt a lone survivor to swear vengeance against me. Instead, I will help them unconditionally in the hopes that they will swear undying loyalty to me. If they repay this calculated kindness by proclaiming me a weakling and declaring war on me, then I will show them that I am stronger and more ruthless than they are. If they still refuse to follow me then I'll subjugate them with force or wipe them out. At this point it's okay to do so, because they've proven to be Always Chaotic Evil, and no one ever really cares about those.
  72. My henchmen will work in groups of three or five, never four.
  73. I will mandate that all groups for all purposes be of either three or five. Including all groups that fight monsters in the name of some other empire. For exactly the same reason.
  74. I will publicly decree that any group of four in my empire will be punished by death or imprisonment, depending on my mood that day. (I will make only token attempts to enforce this law, just enough that it remains public knowledge.) The Hero will instantly assume I have some kind of Weaksauce Weakness to the number and deliberately form a four-man party. At worst, this will set him apart as a potential enemy.
  75. I will fulfill my end of all contracts, in full, as soon as promised. Even though it might be fun to alter deals halfway through, that's just begging the other party to perform a Heel–Face Turn. And I will not quibble about Exact Words either, unless they're playing the wise guy.
  76. I will never promise to uphold my end of the deal before the other party upholds theirs. Just because I want repeat customers doesn't mean I can trust everyone else. (I will ensure this at the promise-making point of the deal.)
  77. If I am in a heavily idealistic series/movies/whatever and the heroes suddenly start forming a circle and singing, I will order my troops to retreat immediately. I will then use the time they're singing to put the snipers in place (preferably robot snipers immune to The Power of Friendship).
  78. When naming my children I'll pay close attention to the meaning of the name. I wouldn't want to give them a positive prophetic name and having them end up helping to defeat me. Neither should I name them after anyone who betrayed or killed either/both of their parents. Mordred? Bad idea.
  79. If my significant other insists on Theme Naming, I'll make sure all the children are included in the theme.
  80. If I have a lieutenant who is completely loyal to me, believing me to be on the good side despite the heroes' assurances that I am actually evil, I will not decide it is a good idea to notify them of the fact that I have secretly hated them for as long as I've known them.
  81. I will also consider seducing the lieutenant into turning evil himself, so that I can quit with the "I'm really good" act. If this fails, I will just kill the lieutenant — having to lie to your trusted underlings sorta undercuts the whole point of them being trusted in the first place.
  82. I will not attempt to "steal Christmas". Or Easter, Thanksgiving, Hannukkah, Boxing Day, Setsubun or any other holiday widely observed by the people. There is no way it can end well. I will instead make myself well known for doing highly generous, festive and visible acts in addition to paying proper respect to all socio-religious celebrations.
  83. I will encourage people to celebrate pseudo-holidays such as Valentine's Day, Flag Day, Hero Appreciation Day... okay, well, maybe not that last one, but having the populace bicker over which holidays are better than which other holidays is more helpful to me than seeing them organize themselves over complete repression of said holidays.
  84. If I feel the need to rig an election, I will not rig the election such that I will win everything, everywhere, with everyone loving me. I will instead rig it so that I win by a plausible, but not overwhelming, margin. I want my enemies to have the small bit of hope that they can oust me in an election and focus on doing that rather then killing me.
  85. I will make use of secret ballots and rig the statistics so that the heroes try to start a rebellion in the one place that my popularity is assured. It'll be amusing to watch the heroes outrun a lynch mob, and even if they don't the statistical weirdness should give the conspiracy nuts loyal to me something to play with.
  86. Any goggles used in my complex WILL be fully functional.
  87. If I absolutely, positively, undeniably MUST have a self destruct system aboard my ship, I will ensure that whoever activates will be killed when they do so. If no-one is willing to die to destroy the ship, self-destruction isn't really necessary.
  88. There are only two detonation triggers: My personal escape pod and the aforementioned button. In case my personal escape pod is boarded by the heroes, I will have a third detonation trigger for the escape pod given to my most trusted lieutenant. And even that will only work after I'm already dead, so no assassination attempts.
  89. I will hire sane scientists to balance the work of my Mad Scientists, and my scientists in general will be punished for abusive behavior.
  90. My mad scientists will be instructed to keep detailed notes, reports, and day books, which will be regularly backed up. Multiple backups will be stored at various locations around my sphere of influence, in every format from dead tree to external hard drives.
  91. 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."
  92. 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.
  93. 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. Or evenbetter, I will just use all three started chronologically from oldest to newest.
  94. 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.
  95. 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.
  96. Considering the number of rules dealing with mad scientists, 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.
  97. 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.
  98. 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.
  99. Every robot in my domain must abide by my Three Laws of Evil Robotics: 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.
  100. 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."


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