51. If one of my dungeon guards begins expressing concern over the conditions in the beautiful princess' cell, I will immediately transfer him to a less people-oriented position.
⁃ Virigar: Oh, yes, indeed. I don't know WHAT it is about the Beautiful Princess types, but there does seem to be SOMETHING.
⁃ Master Wieran: I use other sorts of... guards which do not have these issues.
⁃ M-S: Well, I would maintain very pleasant cells if I had to imprison someone, so I'm sure the issue would never arise.
⁃ Dark Wanderer: If I had guards, I'd definitely keep an eye on that sort of thing.
⁃ Rigel: No doubt. My father had a spot of trouble in that area a couple of times.
52. I will hire a team of board-certified architects and surveyors to examine my castle and inform me of any secret passages and abandoned tunnels that I might not know about.
⁃ Virigar: Yes indeed.
⁃ Master Wieran: I actually DID that. There were just unbelievable numbers of secret passages in that castle. I swear it took longer for the masons to seal them all off than it did for them to construct my laboratory complex.
⁃ M-S: I'd level the old palace and build a new one. If I was that sort.
⁃ Dark Wanderer: I'm with you, Milady. I built my headquarters from the ground up.
⁃ Rigel: The problem with that is you have no sense of history. A three thousand year old complex of ruins, catacombs, and so on, wonderful ATMOSPHERE you know. But yes, definitely survey it, or at least the crucial areas near you.
53. If the beautiful princess that I capture says "I'll never marry you! Never, do you hear me, NEVER!!!", I will say "Oh well" and kill her.
⁃ Virigar: Marriage. Not an option.
⁃ Master Wieran: Killing is a waste.
⁃ M-S: This is such a SEXIST list too!
⁃ Dark Wanderer: Well, you could substitute Handsome Prince, too, but I agree about the waste.
⁃ Rigel: Exactly. Very well, I can't marry her safely (assuming I don't want to just change her mind for her), that doesn't mean she's not useful as a hostage, ransom, information source, weapon, what have you.
⁃ Master Wieran: Excellent thinking. As I said, if she captured my attention to that level, she would clearly be worthy research material to determine what unique characteristics permitted such a thing.
54. I will not strike a bargain with a demonic being then attempt to double-cross it simply because I feel like being contrary.
⁃ Virigar: I will double-cross if that's in the nature of the beings and the bargains.
⁃ Master Wieran: I do not BARGAIN with demonic beings. I summon them, give directives, and if they do not cooperate... there are uses for them.
⁃ M-S: If you bargain, you should keep your end of the bargain.
⁃ Dark Wanderer: This all depends on why you make bargains with them. Certainly it's a bad idea to do this when the reason you bargained with the demon to begin with is for power you didn't have in the first place. That would imply the demon has enough power to kick your pansy ass.
⁃ Rigel: Which is really a good indication that you're not really Evil Overlord material. You'll end up at best being the demon's flunky.
⁃ Dark Wanderer: Now, tricking the demon into THINKING you want to make a bargain and then sucking the power from its dark soul, that's another thing.
⁃ Virigar: NOW you're talking, my friend.
55. The deformed mutants and odd-ball psychotics will have their place in my Legions of Terror. However before I send them out on important covert missions that require tact and subtlety, I will first see if there is anyone else equally qualified who would attract less attention.
⁃ Virigar: I wonder what the references are here.
⁃ Master Wieran: The problem may be that in the service of Evil Overlords one often finds people of ... different moral outlook and rather extreme experiences, which makes them stand out a bit.
⁃ M-S: oh. Yes, I suppose so. I wouldn't know anything about that.
⁃ Dark Wanderer: Oh, no, of course not. Yeah, there's a number of instances of the main servants of the Evil Overlord having, um, social issues that made it harder for them to carry out their more civil, less destructive, duties. Yes, Dilandau, I'm looking STRAIGHT at you.
⁃ Rigel: A good general rule, actually. Select the right lieutenant for the right job. If you want the city left intact, don't send the general with the reputation for employing the cleansing wind of fire in every circumstance.
56. My Legions of Terror will be trained in basic marksmanship. Any who cannot learn to hit a man-sized target at 10 meters will be used for target practice.
⁃ Virigar: No Legions of Terror, no problem.
⁃ Master Wieran: Mine are BRED with instinctive marksmanship. They have no need of training.
⁃ M-S: I don't have Legions of Terror, and any armies I command will have had proper military training. I'm an expert in that.
⁃ Dark Wanderer: Actually, one of the most classic examples of this phenomenon turns out to NOT be an example. The classic Stormtrooper Marksmanship turns out to actually be very, very good, since the sequence in which they failed to hit or capture the heroes was actually PLANNED. They WANTED the heroes to escape, and think they actually HAD.
⁃ Rigel: Still, it's a good principle to remember. Recruiting a lot of threatening thugs is no more useful than the training you give said thugs.
57. Before employing any captured artifacts or machinery, I will carefully read the owner's manual.
⁃ Virigar: Not that I've had to worry about this often, but this seems sensible advice.
⁃ Master Wieran: Indeed. It should be evident to even the feeblest intellect that just throwing the switch to a device whose operation you do not understand is the sort of thing that tends to end in disaster.
⁃ M-S: And yet people of apparently much more capable intellects do just that all the time.
⁃ Dark Wanderer: I suppose it's excusable if you're backed into a corner and your only choice is to use the Dark Evil Device you just captured --
⁃ Rigel: -- but then you shouldn't be surprised to discover that it will suck out your soul to power it, or funnel its maker's mind into yours, et cetera. After all, what would YOU design such a device to do if operated by a fool?
58. If it becomes necessary to escape, I will never stop to pose dramatically and toss off a one-liner.
⁃ Master Wieran: Oh, very well, I'll say it. BAD FORM! That said, I agree with the advice and you are all childish fools -- except the invincible werewolf -- to think otherwise.
⁃ Dark Wanderer: (in a James Earl Jones voice) You don't know the POWER of the One Liner.
⁃ Virigar: Oh, a parting shot is always justified, unless it would ruin a better one by my opposition.
⁃ M-S: That's ... unusually courteous of you.
⁃ Rigel: Comes with the "play by the rules" aspect. If the heroes are doing well enough to force your escape, you owe them that.
59. I will never build a sentient computer smarter than I am.
⁃ Master Wieran: Again, the problem isn't making it smarter, it's not making it LOYAL enough.
⁃ M-S: The problem is that even if you install safeguards, something a lot smarter than you may find holes in those safeguards that YOU didn't notice.
⁃ Virigar: Again, this is one issue I need never worry about.
⁃ Dark Wanderer: I confess to having a touch of Frankenstein fear; I have no intention of creating my own nemesis.
⁃ Rigel: Yet you already DID.
⁃ Dark Wanderer: Urk. You may have a point.
60. My five-year-old child advisor will also be asked to decipher any code I am thinking of using. If he breaks the code in under 30 seconds, it will not be used. Note: this also applies to passwords.
⁃ Virigar: I think we're all agreed to just swap out our other choice of advisor.
⁃ (All): Agreed.
61. If my advisors ask "Why are you risking everything on such a mad scheme?", I will not proceed until I have a response that satisfies them.
⁃ Virigar: I don't really HAVE advisors who would say such a thing; they know me too well.
⁃ Master Wieran: Mad? MAD? The fools! To not recognize that my intellect is so vastly superior to theirs that even *explaining* my plan would leave them no better enlightened! Why (cue variant rant#4)
⁃ M-S: I see we have someone who could benefit from the above advice.
⁃ Dark Wanderer: Yes, even if it's TRUE that your underlings really can't understand your plans, you need a Complete Idiot's Guide to My Diabolical Plan handy so that they can at least efficiently carry out their part of it.
⁃ Rigel: And as the above advice hints, perhaps being forced to create a clear and simplified description will reveal, well, some heretofore unforeseen slight weaknesses in your grand scheme.
62. I will design fortress hallways with no alcoves or protruding structural supports which intruders could use for cover in a firefight.
⁃ Virigar: I'm not entirely sure I agree.
⁃ Master Wieran: Yes. The problem is that in the event of an invasion, the same alcoves and structural supports could also provide cover for MY troops.
⁃ M-S: My preference would be for automated defenses which constantly spray the almost featureless hallway with either stun rounds or lethal ones, whichever seems appropriate.
⁃ Dark Wanderer: Ooo, the old "Automated Defenses" approach. Ten to one the heroes will THEN have with them some UberHacker who -- in defiance of all known laws of computer operation, security, and logic -- will take control of the defenses using a cell phone call to your switchboard. No, never count on automated defenses -- be they computers, golems, whatever. Someone will come and use the Riddle of Horus on them or something.
⁃ Rigel: Very true. Human guards are the weak point in your installation's security. Alas, they are also by far its strongest point as well.
63. Bulk trash will be disposed of in incinerators, not compactors. And they will be kept hot, with none of that nonsense about flames going through accessible tunnels at predictable intervals.
⁃ Virigar: Not a problem for those who don't keep large bases.
⁃ Master Wieran: There are perfectly good reasons NOT to burn all trash. Sometimes you, or another, can re-use parts of it. But certainly all waste-disposal areas should be designed to prevent their use as a hiding place or getaway route.
⁃ M-S: I'd put sensors in them to let me know of any living thing larger than, oh, a mouse.
⁃ Dark Wanderer: And that's when you discover that your enemies have a shapeshifter who can assume the form of a mouse.
⁃ Rigel: I'll also note that in the classic example of this, the ONLY thing that permitted the heroes to walk out of it rather than be poured out as a runny red soup was that they had unsuspected and competent outside help. Well, one of the two was competent.
⁃ Dark Wanderer: Yes, and as I mentioned before, the original plan was to allow them to escape. Still, that garbage disposal route would seem an unlikely part of the original plan, so they may have been in actual danger at that point.
64. I will see a competent psychiatrist and get cured of all extremely unusual phobias and bizarre compulsive habits which could prove to be a disadvantage.
⁃ Virigar: (laughing)
⁃ Master Wieran: I HAVE no such problems, and I would never permit a lesser mind to attempt its feeble "therapy" on me.
⁃ M-S: Well, I wouldn't put it so NASTILY, but really, I was DESIGNED to be perfect, I'm certainly not crazy or have any unusual phobias.
⁃ Dark Wanderer: Megalomania is pretty much standard for Evil Overlords.
⁃ Rigel: I think this is a lovely idea which in practice none of us would be stupid enough to follow. The real danger is that if you actually WORK with the headshrinker, he'll know far too much; and if you DON'T, not only might he STILL learn too much, you'll be wasting time too.
65. If I must have computer systems with publically available terminals, the maps they display of my complex will have a room clearly marked as the Main Control Room. That room will be the Execution Chamber. The actual main control room will be marked as Sewage Overflow Containment.
⁃ Virigar: Oh, dear, dear, dear.
⁃ Master Wieran: I see this as a parallel to the self-destruct argument. Yes?
⁃ M-S: Very much so, yes.
⁃ Dark Wanderer: Yep. If you have publicly accessible terminals, your thugs will be using them too -- otherwise the fact that no one in your own ranks touches them will warn the heroes that there's something funny going on. And do you REALLY want an information system that lies to you, when some of your hirelings may not be as clever as you might like?
⁃ Rigel: Well, in this case it might help weed out the unfit. Still, yes, another "let's make it too complicated" bit of advice.
66. My security keypad will actually be a fingerprint scanner. Anyone who watches someone press a sequence of buttons or dusts the pad for fingerprints then subsequently tries to enter by repeating that sequence will trigger the alarm system.
⁃ Virigar: Now THIS I like.
⁃ Master Wieran: Or a soul-scanner, or something of the sort. Yes indeed.
⁃ M-S: As long as it's just YOUR security keypad, or you always have the luxury of entering anyone new into the system before they'll ever need to use it. The advantage of codes is that you don't need to perform a special authorization procedure every time you get a new high-clearance employee.
⁃ Dark Wanderer: True, but I think the advice is good. You could always have a code that you never use except for temporaries, and change it after each temp's time is over.
⁃ Rigel: Agreed.
67. No matter how many shorts we have in the system, my guards will be instructed to treat every surveillance camera malfunction as a full-scale emergency.
⁃ Virigar: (shakes head)
⁃ Master Wieran: I do not believe this would work. You can only tell dolts to ignore things so many times.
⁃ M-S: Yes, this goes against some of the most fundamental principles of human behavior.
⁃ Dark Wanderer: The "cry wolf" syndrome -- no reference to our friend V, here. If you actually have any significant number of false positives, you CAN'T get people to keep treating them as full-scale emergencies.
⁃ Rigel: And all that running around would just create OTHER security openings after a while.
⁃ Virigar: Exactly. If you can't make your security system essentially foolproof -- failures of one ever six months, or something of that nature -- it might as well be useless.
68. I will spare someone who saved my life sometime in the past. This is only reasonable as it encourages others to do so. However, the offer is good one time only. If they want me to spare them again, they'd better save my life again.
⁃ (All): Agreed.
69. All midwives will be banned from the realm. All babies will be delivered at state-approved hospitals. Orphans will be placed in foster-homes, not abandoned in the woods to be raised by creatures of the wild.
⁃ M-S: What? Don't they realize that on average midwives improve infant survival rates?
⁃ Virigar: This is referring to those charming tales in which a midwife delivers a child and can switch it around, hide it, and so on so that you don't know a child of your enemy survived, or when an orphan is abandoned in the woods to die and comes back having learned special skills from the wolves or what have you.
⁃ Master Wieran: I have no care for the breeding behavior of my subjects.
⁃ Rigel: If I find a child has learned amazing skills from the wolves, I'll hire him to train ME.
70. When my guards split up to search for intruders, they will always travel in groups of at least two. They will be trained so that if one of them disappears mysteriously while on patrol, the other will immediately initiate an alert and call for backup, instead of quizzically peering around a corner.
⁃ Virigar: Well, again, this assumes a base, lots of guards. I have a castle and a few trusted servants. And very good senses, when I feel I should use them.
⁃ Master Wieran: These are basic tactics. Are they saying many evil overlords DON'T have such basic tactics as standard?
⁃ M-S: Well, it's a reference to an awful lot of FAILED evil overlords. And of course part of the problem is the quality of the help you hire.
⁃ Dark Wanderer: Yes. If your grunts were good enough to be trained as special forces types, would they be working as your grunts? Maybe, but maybe not.
⁃ Rigel: Indeed. There are some people that just won't LEARN those kind of simple tactics. Especially if they're with you long enough to have gotten used to routine patrols in which nothing happens.
⁃ M-S: Studies have shown that even well-trained people can end up unattentive and less competent if routine becomes too grinding.
71. If I decide to test a lieutenant's loyalty and see if he/she should be made a trusted lieutenant, I will have a crack squad of marksmen standing by in case the answer is no.
⁃ Virigar: Ah, yes, the pitfall of assuming the result at the wrong time.
⁃ Master Wieran: I prefer to IMPLANT the loyalty.
⁃ M-S: Evil little man. I'm sure that anyone who wants to work with me would be loyal. But there's nothing wrong with insurance.
⁃ Dark Wanderer: Indeed, indeed. While i prefer to work solo, if I had to work with someone I certainly wouldn't let them get in a position to screw me over without having a little backup plan.
⁃ Rigel: That's what being a psionic with mind-controlling powers is FOR.
72. If all the heroes are standing together around a strange device and begin to taunt me, I will pull out a conventional weapon instead of using my unstoppable superweapon on them.
⁃ Virigar: As a more general rule, if the heroes have suddenly stopped their running and are taunting me, I will not respond to their taunts without carefully examining the area for a booby-trap.
⁃ Master Wieran: Naturally. A sudden shift in behavior nearly always indicates that an additional factor has been introduced that was not previously accounted for.
⁃ M-S: Of course, this sort of thinking could become a sort of circular process.
⁃ Dark Wanderer: Ohhhh, yeah, I see what you mean. "Ah, this guy's a SMART evil overlord, so we can get him to run through the trap just by NOT taunting him". And then --
⁃ Rigel: -- we overlords start being cautious when they're running and realize that their taunts are sheer bravado -- indicators of the time to attack. And THEN we're back to square one.
73. I will not agree to let the heroes go free if they win a rigged contest, even though my advisors assure me it is impossible for them to win.
⁃ Virigar: A rigged contest? Is there any other kind?
⁃ Master Wieran: For one such as you, perhaps not. I, on the other hand, would never use such a useless trick. A contest is an experiment, a test, and "rigging" it violates the purity of the science behind it! Those petty tyrants who think to terrify with their arbitrary whims cannot understand the terror and beauty, the majesty and horror possible with a grasp of the True Nature of REALITY, the...(continue rant)
⁃ M-S: If I agree to any contest, it will be a fair one.
⁃ Dark Wanderer: Well... as fair as any contest can be where one of the contestants is the product of a super-science project to produce the ultimate heroine or hero...
⁃ Master Wieran (breaking off rant): Product of a SUPER-SCIENCE project? My VERY dear young lady, would you consider--
⁃ M-S (in a perky, cheerful tone): Complete that sentence and I will force-feed you your own balls. (*smile* ^_^)
⁃ Rigel: And NOW we see the other side of Miss Kind and Generous.
74. When I create a multimedia presentation of my plan designed so that my five-year-old advisor can easily understand the details, I will not label the disk "Project Overlord" and leave it lying on top of my desk.
⁃ Virigar: Somehow I don't think "I", in the sense of "Evil Overlord", will be the problem here.
⁃ Dark Wanderer: No, it'll be the Perhaps Not Too Bright Lieutenant who will have made a COPY of the disk to study, and left it on HIS desk.
⁃ Rigel: Or worse, made a copy and carries it around on him, to be taken by the heroes when they surprise him and knock him unconscious.
75. I will instruct my Legions of Terror to attack the hero en masse, instead of standing around waiting while members break off and attack one or two at a time.
⁃ Virigar: No Legions, remember?
⁃ Master Wieran: Well, yes, but the principle is clear. Many groups of warriors tend to hesitate and wait to see what happens to the first person to clash with an adversary. I, of course, have ENGINEERED my warriors and they, unlike the feeble and pathetic products of random evolution, have neither unreasoning emotions nor mechanical inflexibility, but instead are the very SYNTHESIS of perfection, taking precisely the correct actions under all circumstances! The world will (cue "World Will Tremble" rant)
⁃ M-S: But isn't this something of a situational thing?
⁃ Dark Wanderer: Yeah. While there's plenty of examples of the Ring O' Adversaries coming in one at a time, even THERE there's a limit. More than four or so at once, how are you going to REACH him?
⁃ Rigel: And of course there's the heroes that just take the Mob Attack as an opportunity to use that Devastating Area Effect Attack that they can't use too often, but that your thugs have now made a terribly efficient way of eliminating the opposition.
76. If the hero runs up to my roof, I will not run up after him and struggle with him in an attempt to push him over the edge. I will also not engage him at the edge of a cliff. (In the middle of a rope-bridge over a river of molten lava is not even worth considering.)
⁃ Virigar: This is probably good advice... for those of us afraid of a little fall.
⁃ Master Wieran: *I* will not run after him at all. I will send my TROOPS after him.
⁃ M-S: I believe the idea here is that you don't HAVE anyone else available -- the Hero has killed or incapacitated them all, or locked the doors (the invincible doors you constructed yourself, of course) to keep anyone else from interfering.
⁃ Dark Wanderer: And it's ANOTHER of the "depends on conditions" ones. If he's running to the roof to escape and you can't afford the escape, well, what choices do you have? (Ring of Regeneration. There's a reason I wear it all the time.)
⁃ Rigel: Oh, yes, that sounds very useful. Of course, the inherent ability to FLY rather neutralizes these issues too.
77. If I have a fit of temporary insanity and decide to give the hero the chance to reject a job as my trusted lieutentant, I will retain enough sanity to wait until my current trusted lieutenant is out of earshot before making the offer.
⁃ Virigar: I think we can just all agree on this one, can't we? Yes? Good, then onward.
78. I will not tell my Legions of Terror "And he must be taken alive!" The command will be "And try to take him alive if it is reasonably practical."
⁃ Virigar: I assure you, there are times when this is not an option.
⁃ Master Wieran: Indeed. And I assure you that if *I* say he MUST be taken alive, I MEAN that he must be taken alive.
⁃ M-S: Why would you need the hero alive? Not, mind you, that I object, being a heroine and all.
⁃ Dark Wanderer: Oh, often it's something like "must be sacrificed at midnight" or "prophecy says that he must live to see his world destroyed", or "I want to swallow his soul myself, which is difficult when he's already dead".
⁃ Rigel: Of course, if the Overlord is male and we're talking a Heroine, there may be other unsavory reasons.
⁃ Virigar: Yes, but we discussed how that particular approach doesn't work earlier.
⁃ Rigel: True, but it's still a reason.
79. If my doomsday device happens to come with a reverse switch, as soon as it has been employed it will be melted down and made into limited-edition commemorative coins.
⁃ Virigar: Eh? What DO they teach them in these schools?
⁃ Master Wieran: Indeed. What is that supposed to MEAN?
⁃ M-S: I can parse that. Unfortunately, I can parse it too many ways.
⁃ Dark Wanderer: Yeah. As soon as "it" has been employed. Is "it" the doomsday device or the reverse switch? And if it's the doomsday device, why would I melt it down if it has a reverse switch -- I might want to threaten the world with it again someday! And if it's the reverse switch, er, why do I want to remove it from my doomsday device? Getting a bit depressed, planning on the old "screw all you guys" approach?
⁃ Rigel: Yes, I think we'd best just ignore this one and maybe it will go away.
80. If my weakest troops fail to eliminate a hero, I will send out my best troops instead of wasting time with progressively stronger ones as he gets closer and closer to my fortress.
⁃ Dark Wanderer: Oooh! Oooh! I know this one! We used to call this the Trooper Training Program, from Yoroiden Samurai Troopers! The kids start out weak and with no knowledge of how to use their powers, but the careful escalation on the part of Arago and his troopers helps to Pump Them Up!
⁃ Virigar: It's good advice in the general case, but there are so many potential exceptions.
⁃ Rigel: For example, your best troops are being used to hold off other threats, and while you PROBABLY could afford to remove them to deal with the heroes, well, you don't KNOW that they're The Heroes yet.
⁃ Master Wieran: Communication is key. If, like some despots I know, your entire organization is built around the idea that... oh, what was the term one of you travellers used... Ah yes, sh*t flows downhill, then you have a situation in which each echelon does NOT want to admit problems or failure.
⁃ M-S: Oh, yes. DuQuesne's creator painted that one so well in the Lensman books.
⁃ Rigel: So, basically the issue here is make sure that there's communication up and down the line, and that "shooting the messenger" is not done.
81. If I am fighting with the hero atop a moving platform, have disarmed him, and am about to finish him off and he glances behind me and drops flat, I too will drop flat instead of quizzically turning around to find out what he saw.
⁃ Virigar: Oh yes, this one's related to the taunting enemies.
⁃ Master Wieran: Very much so.
⁃ M-S: It applies equally to us heroes, of course. Because you can't be sure you're not the hero that will die tragically to motivate the OTHER heroes.
⁃ Dark Wanderer: Right. Anyway, this is another specific of the general case "when the hero does something that looks really strange, he probably has a reason for it."
⁃ Rigel: And if you don't have time to drop flat, putting up full defenses is highly recommended.
83. I will not shoot at any of my enemies if they are standing in front of the crucial support beam to a heavy, dangerous, unbalanced structure.
⁃ Rigel: I will not shoot at them unless I can avoid HITTING the crucial support beam.
⁃ Dark Wanderer: The idea is that they make you THINK you can hit them and then dodge out of the way.
⁃ Virigar: That's why I prefer to use up-close, personal weapons. Or suck out their souls from a distance.
⁃ Master Wieran: Still, I think we all agree that this is another that can be generalized to the rule "I will not allow the heroes to make me do something suicidally stupid.".
84. If I'm eating dinner with the hero, put poison in his goblet, then have to leave the table for any reason, I will order new drinks for both of us instead of trying to decide whether or not to switch with him.
⁃ Dark Wanderer: Er, no, I'll develop an immunity to iocane powder and put it in BOTH drinks.
⁃ Virigar: In my case, I HAVE the immunity already.
⁃ M-S: Poisoning? That's so... rude. And at dinner, too.
85. I will not have captives of one sex guarded by members of the opposite sex.
⁃ Virigar: Not an issue for my people.
⁃ Dark Wanderer: I know what they're getting at, but in this day and age you'd better check to see what their preferences are.
⁃ Rigel: Especially with the popularity of slash and all.
⁃ Master Wieran: "Slash"?
⁃ M-S: You REALLY don't want to know.
86. I will not use any plan in which the final step is horribly complicated, e.g. "Align the 12 Stones of Power on the sacred altar then activate the medallion at the moment of total eclipse." Instead it will be more along the lines of "Push the button."
⁃ Virigar: Do they think these Ultimate Goals are set up arbitrarily?
⁃ Master Wieran: Yes, apparently.
⁃ M-S: What do you mean?
⁃ Dark Wanderer: A lot of these plans have complicated final steps because, well, that's just the way the magic or whatever WORKS. If you don't fulfill the conditions, it won't work out.
⁃ Rigel: Exactly. To be honest, I'm having a hard time thinking of an example of an Evil Overlord who clearly COULD have achieved his ultimate goal with a simple action but CHOSE to use some complex ceremony instead. Aside from our esteemed Wolf friend here, but he KNOWS that he's doing such things, and can generally get away with it.
87. I will make sure that my doomsday device is up to code and properly grounded.
⁃ Master Wieran: I do not know this "code", but this is just a variant of employing a device you haven't adequately researched.
⁃ Rigel: Yes. Redundant. Next!
88. My vats of hazardous chemicals will be covered when not in use. Also, I will not construct walkways above them.
⁃ Dark Wanderer: Yes, "Van Helsing", we're looking at YOU!
⁃ Rigel: But if you do that, how are you to fall into them and gain additional superpowers, albeit a hideous visage, for use in the sequel?
⁃ Master Wieran: I would prefer to gain my 'superpowers' from the result of careful research and retain my distinguished appearance.
89. If a group of henchmen fail miserably at a task, I will not berate them for incompetence then send the same group out to try the task again.
⁃ Virigar: Eat them instead.
⁃ Master Wieran: As a blanket statement this comes perilously close to shooting the messenger, especially with Virigar's addition.
⁃ M-S: Exactly! It depends on WHY they failed miserably!
⁃ Dark Wanderer: Right. Often when you see this it's because the henchmen have been "denied critical, need-to-know information" about their targets.
⁃ Rigel: But this does connect back to the one on not sending out progressively stronger opponents, too.
90. After I captures the hero's superweapon, I will not immediately disband my legions and relax my guard because I believe whoever holds the weapon is unstoppable. After all, the hero held the weapon and I took it from him.
⁃ Virigar: Indeed. We are all agreed on this?
⁃ Dark Wanderer: Yep. Unless the reason is that you WILL use the superweapon, and HE wouldn't.
91. I will not design my Main Control Room so that every workstation is facing away from the door.
⁃ Virigar: Control rooms are so next millennium. But my throne room has only one chair, my throne, and it faces the only entrance.
⁃ Master Wieran: The circular and external-looking layout seems common, yes. But one could simply station some guards at the entrance.
⁃ M-S: I'd think that if the Heroes are already AT the Main Control Room, you have other problems.
⁃ Dark Wanderer: Yeah. If one of the Main Control stations isn't "security", or if it is and they haven't caught on yet, I don't think I'd worry about which way the stations face; these guys aren't going to notice the Hero until he shoots them.
⁃ Rigel: I don't think I can add anything to that.
92. I will not ignore the messenger that stumbles in exhausted and obviously agitated until my personal grooming or current entertainment is finished. It might actually be important.
⁃ Virigar: Indeed.
⁃ Master Wieran: What sort of a pompous fool is wasting his time on personal grooming when there's WORK to be done?
⁃ M-S: And here, yet again, we find an area in which the Mad Scientist does not understand normal human beings. I *thought* I smelled something...
⁃ Dark Wanderer: Psst! Wieran! The "clean cantrip". Learn it. use it.
⁃ Master Wieran: Bah!
⁃ Rigel: Returning to the subject, yes, one should realize that -- especially if you have a proper Evil Overlord reputation -- a messenger won't be staggering up directly to you unless he really thinks it's something you NEED to hear. Don't be stupid.
93. If I ever talk to the hero on the phone, I will not taunt him. Instead I will say this his dogged perseverance has given me new insight on the futility of my evil ways and that if he leaves me alone for a few months of quiet contemplation I will likely return to the path of righteousness. (Heroes are incredibly gullible in this regard.)
⁃ Virigar: Well, that could work.
⁃ Master Wieran: A waste of time. I'll simply have to deal with him later anyway, so why not get it over with?
⁃ M-S: I'll admit I would want to give you the benefit of the doubt if you said you'd reform. But I'd keep an eye on you.
⁃ Dark Wanderer: Only SOME heroes are that gullible. A lot of them would want more material proof.
⁃ Rigel: And THEN you taunt them.
94. If I decide to hold a double execution of the hero and an underling who failed or betrayed me, I will see to it that the hero is scheduled to go first.
⁃ Virigar; Double execution? Double the executioners, then. Kill them both at the same time.
⁃ Master Wieran: I do not DO such wasteful demonstrations. I will disassemble them for use in the organ vats.
⁃ M-S: EEEeeeeew!
⁃ Dark Wanderer: Hmm, wouldn't have thought you so squeamish. I agree with Big V; kill both at once.
⁃ Rigel: Ahhh, now, the problem is *spectacle*. Public executions are entertainment, and you're now insisting on cutting it in half.
95. When arresting prisoners, my guards will not allow them to stop and grab a useless trinket of purely sentimental value.
⁃ Dark Wanderer: Another of those basic "when the Heroes do things that don't make sense, don't go along with it!" things. Of course, you need quality guards to not get bamboozled by this, since usually the one doing the grabbing will be the Innocent Kid or the Beautiful Heroine, which mess up the usual guard's perceptions.
96. My dungeon will have its own qualified medical staff complete with bodyguards. That way if a prisoner becomes sick and his cellmate tells the guard it's an emergency, the guard will fetch a trauma team instead of opening up the cell for a look.
⁃ Virigar: Well, yes, if you keep them locked up rather than swallowing their life essence, you probably should recognize that they might get sick... or might try to convince people that they are.
⁃ Master Wieran: Health-equipped guard golems.
⁃ M-S: If I were a villain, I'd agree. Though...
⁃ Dark Wanderer: Ah, yes, you see it. If you have a medical team with guards sent in, you may just be sending them what they ordered -- a case of weapons and healing packs for their escape.
⁃ Rigel: Indeed. After all, if these guards are so capable, why didn't you have them out on the front lines trying to stop the heroes in the first place?
97. My door mechanisms will be designed so that blasting the control panel on the outside seals the door and blasting the control panel on the inside opens the door, not vice versa.
⁃ Virigar (laughs)
⁃ Master Wieran: What? What is this nonsense?
⁃ M-S: Oh, dear me.
⁃ Dark Wanderer (snickering): Again, "oh, that trick NEVER works". Believe me, no matter HOW you work it, the heroes will simply find a way to exploit it.
⁃ Rigel: *I* designed it so that blasting the controls puts things like prison cells, interrogation cells, etc into lockdown, but other places into automatic open. Basically as you'd do for power failure anyway. And you're right, they'll find a way to use it.
98. My dungeon cells will not be furnished with objects that contain reflective surfaces or anything that can be unravelled.
⁃ Virigar: I'm a bit puzzled by this one. What is the problem with reflective surfaces? Are we assuming an Evil Overlord who's also Medusa?
⁃ Master Wieran: I'm not sure. Perhaps someone once used reflective surfaces to dazzle a guard? Seems unlikely enough to not justify the question.
⁃ M-S: Unravelling seems a bit more obvious.
⁃ Dark Wanderer: Yeah, if you can do that, you might get rope out of it. Not good. In terms of the reflective surfaces, I dunno. Hypnosis?
⁃ Rigel: I can't really say either. Some of these rules are just silly!
99. If an attractive young couple enters my realm, I will carefully monitor their activities. If I find they are happy and affectionate, I will ignore them. However if circumstance have forced them together against their will and they spend all their time bickering and criticizing each other except during the intermittent occasions when they are saving each others' lives at which point there are hints of sexual tension, I will immediately order their execution.
⁃ Virigar: Oh, that's brilliant. Yes, please, go ahead, ignore that young Jason Wood and his fiancee Sylvia. I'm SURE that will work out well for you.
⁃ Master Wieran: Is there some POINT to this one?
⁃ M-S: Oh, it's a cliche -- and not a very strong one.
⁃ Dark Wanderer: It's sort of a heroic version of the saying "opposites attract". In some of our movies it was fairly common to see the main male and female characters constantly bickering, until suddenly when under extreme danger they recognize the attraction they have for each other. It works well. The first time or so. After that it gets boring.
100. Any data file of crucial importance will be padded to 1.45Mb in size.
⁃ Virigar: Now this is just TOO obscure. WHY? Why are you padding the crucial data files? Why to that particular size? I'm sorry, I must find the person responsible for this question and swallow his soul.
101. Finally, to keep my subjects permanently locked in a mindless trance, I will provide each of them with free unlimited Internet access.
⁃ Dark Wanderer: Or, in places and times where that's not possible, you might use wet T-shirt contests, gladiatorial games, or just drugs in the water.
⁃ Rigel: Mind control! I keep TELLING you people, Effective Mind Control!