My Legions of Terror will have helmets with clear
plexiglass visors, not face-concealing ones.
My ventilation ducts will be too small to crawl through.
noble half-brother whose throne I usurped will be killed,
not kept anonymously imprisoned in a forgotten cell of
Shooting is not too good for my enemies.
The artifact which is the source of my power will not be
kept on the Mountain of Despair beyond the River of Fire
guarded by the Dragons of Eternity. It will be in my
safe-deposit box. The same applies to the object which
is my one weakness.
I will not gloat over my enemies' predicament before
When I've captured my adversary and he says, "Look,
before you kill me, will you at least tell me what this is
all about?" I'll say, "No." and shoot him. No, on second
thought I'll shoot him then say "No."
After I kidnap the beautiful princess, we will be married
immediately in a quiet civil ceremony, not a lavish spectacle
in three weeks' time during which the final phase of my plan
will be carried out.
I will not include a self-destruct mechanism unless absolutely
necessary. If it is necessary, it will not be a large red button
labeled "Danger: Do Not Push". The big red button marked
"Do Not Push" will instead trigger a spray of bullets on anyone
stupid enough to disregard it. Similarly, the ON/OFF switch
will not clearly be labeled as such.
I will not interrogate my enemies in the inner sanctum -- a
small hotel well outside my borders will work just as well.
I will be secure in my superiority. Therefore, I will feel no need to
prove it by leaving clues in the form of riddles or leaving my weaker
enemies alive to show they pose no threat.
One of my advisors will be an average five-year-old child. Any flaws
in my plan that he is able to spot will be corrected before
All slain enemies will be cremated, or at least have several rounds
of ammunition emptied into them, not left for dead at the bottom of
the cliff. The announcement of their deaths, as well as any
accompanying celebration, will be deferred until after the
The hero is not entitled to a last kiss, a last cigarette, or any
other form of last request.
I will never employ any device with a digital countdown. If I find
that such a device is absolutely unavoidable, I will set it to
activate when the counter reaches 117 and the hero is just putting
his plan into operation.
I will never utter the sentence "But before I kill you, there's just
one thing I want to know."
When I employ people as advisers, I will occasionally listen to their
I will not have a son. Although his laughably under-planned attempt
to usurp power would easily fail, it would provide a fatal
distraction at a crucial point in time.
I will not have a daughter. She would be as beautiful as she was
evil, but one look at the hero's rugged countenance and she'd betray
her own father.
Despite its proven stress-relieving effect, I will not indulge in
maniacal laughter. When so occupied, it's too easy to miss unexpected
developments that a more attentive individual could adjust to
I will hire a talented fashion designer to create original uniforms
for my Legions of Terror, as opposed to some cheap knock-offs that
make them look like Nazi stormtroopers, Roman foot soldiers, or savage
Mongol hordes. All were eventually defeated and I want my troops to
have a more positive mind-set.
No matter how tempted I am with the prospect of unlimited power, I
will not consume any energy field bigger than my head.
I will keep a special cache of low-tech weapons and train my troops
in their use. That way -- even if the heroes manage to neutralize my
power generator and/or render the standard-issue energy weapons
useless -- my troops will not be overrun by a handful of savages
armed with spears and rocks.
I will maintain a realistic assessment of my strengths and
weaknesses. Even though this takes some of the fun out of the job, at
least I will never utter the line "No, this cannot be! I AM
INVINCIBLE!!!" (After that, death is usually instantaneous.)
No matter how well it would perform, I will never construct any sort
of machinery which is completely indestructible except for one small
and virtually inaccessible vulnerable spot.
No matter how attractive certain members of the rebellion are, there
is probably someone just as attractive who is not desperate to kill
me. Therefore, I will think twice before ordering a prisoner sent to
I will never build only one of anything important. All important
systems will have redundant control panels and power supplies. For
the same reason I will always carry at least two fully loaded weapons
at all times.
My pet monster will be kept in a secure cage from which it cannot
escape and into which I could not accidentally stumble.
I will dress in bright and cheery colors, and so throw my enemies
All bumbling conjurers, clumsy squires, no-talent bards, and cowardly
thieves in the land will be preemptively put to death. My foes will
surely give up and abandon their quest if they have no source of
All naive, busty tavern wenches in my realm will be replaced with
surly, world-weary waitresses who will provide no unexpected
reinforcement and/or romantic subplot for the hero or his sidekick.
I will not fly into a rage and kill a messenger who brings me bad
news just to illustrate how evil
I really am. Good messengers are hard to come by.
I won't require high-ranking female members of my organization to
wear a stainless-steel bustier. Morale is better with a more casual
dress-code. Similarly, outfits made entirely from black leather will
be reserved for formal occasions.
I will not turn into a snake. It never helps.
I will not grow a goatee. In the old days they made you look
diabolic. Now they just make you look like a disaffected member of
I will not imprison members of the same party in the same cell block,
let alone the same cell. If they are important prisoners, I will keep
the only key to the cell door on my person instead of handing out
copies to every bottom-rung guard in the prison.
If my trusted lieutenant tells me my Legions of Terror are losing a
battle, I will believe him. After all, he's my trusted lieutenant.
If an enemy I have just killed has a younger sibling or offspring
anywhere, I will find them and have them killed immediately,
instead of waiting for them to grow up harboring feelings of
vengeance towards me in my old age.
If I absolutely must ride into battle, I will certainly not ride at
the forefront of my Legions of Terror, nor will I seek out my
opposite number among his army.
I will be neither chivalrous nor sporting. If I have an unstoppable
superweapon, I will use it as early and as often as possible instead
of keeping it in reserve.
Once my power is secure, I will destroy all those pesky time-travel
When I capture the hero, I will make sure I also get his dog, monkey,
ferret, or whatever sickeningly cute little animal capable of untying
ropes and filching keys happens to follow him around.
I will maintain a healthy amount of skepticism when I capture the
beautiful rebel and she claims she is attracted to my power and good
looks and will gladly betray her companions if I just let her in on
I will only employ bounty hunters who work for money. Those who
work for the pleasure of the hunt tend to do dumb things like even
the odds to give the other guy a sporting chance.
I will make sure I have a clear understanding of who is responsible
for what in my organization. For example, if my general screws up I
will not draw my weapon, point it at him, say "And here is the price
for failure," then suddenly turn and kill some random underling.
If an adviser says to me "My liege, he is but one man. What can one
man possibly do?", I will reply "This." and kill the adviser.
If I learn that a callow youth has begun a quest to destroy me, I
will slay him while he is still a callow youth instead of waiting for
him to mature.
I will treat any beast which I control through magic or technology
with respect and kindness. Thus if the control is ever broken, it
will not immediately come after me for revenge.
If I learn the whereabouts of the one artifact which can destroy me,
I will not send all my troops out to seize it. Instead I will send
them out to seize something else and quietly put a Want-Ad in the
My main computers will have their own special operating system that
will be completely incompatible with standard IBM and Macintosh
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.
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.
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
I will not strike a bargain with a demonic being then attempt to
double-cross it simply because I feel like being contrary.
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.
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
Before employing any captured artifacts or machinery, I will
carefully read the owner's manual.
If it becomes necessary to escape, I will never stop to pose
dramatically and toss off a one-liner.
I will never build a sentient computer smarter than I am.
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.
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
I will design fortress hallways with no alcoves or protruding
structural supports which intruders could use for cover in a
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.
I will see a competent psychiatrist and get cured of all extremely
unusual phobias and bizarre compulsive habits which could prove to be
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
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.
No matter how many shorts we have in the system, my guards will be
instructed to treat every surveillance camera malfunction as a full-
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 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
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.
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.
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.
I will not agree to let the heroes go free if they win a rigged
contest, even though my advisers assure me it is impossible for them
When I create a multimedia presentation of my plan designed so that
my five-year-old adviser can easily understand the details, I will
not label the disk "Project Overlord" and leave it lying on top of my
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.
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.)
If I have a fit of temporary insanity and decide to give the hero the
chance to reject a job as my trusted lieutenant, I will retain
enough sanity to wait until my current trusted lieutenant is out of
earshot before making the offer.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
I will not have captives of one sex guarded by members of the
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."
I will make sure that my doomsday device is up to code and properly
My vats of hazardous chemicals will be covered when not in use. Also,
I will not construct walkways above them.
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
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.
I will not design my Main Control Room so that every workstation is
facing away from the door.
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.
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
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.
When arresting prisoners, my guards will not allow them to stop and
grab a useless trinket of purely sentimental value.
My dungeon will have its own qualified medical staff complete with
bodyguards. That way if a prisoner becomes sick and his cell mate
tells the guard it's an emergency, the guard will fetch a trauma team
instead of opening up the cell for a look.
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.
My dungeon cells will not be furnished with objects that contain
reflective surfaces or anything that can be unraveled.
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.
Any data file of crucial importance will be padded to 1.45Mb in size.
Finally, to keep my subjects permanently locked in a mindless trance,
I will provide each of them with free unlimited Internet access.
Of course, these are merely the Top 100 Things I'd do. Other
suggestions have been sent to me which didn't quite make the list. I
had to share this with you it should spark