Newsgroups: alt.slack

Subject: Dark overlord guidelines

From: William Price <>

Date: Mon, 10 Nov 1997 13:06:25 -0500


this was sent to me from a friend...the author is unlisted.

Becoming an Evil Overlord...

It seems to be a good career choice. It pays well, there are all sorts

of perks and you can set your own hours. However, every Evil Overlord

I've heard about invariably gets overthrown and destroyed in the end.

I've noticed that no matter whether they are barbarian lords, deranged

wizards, mad scientists or alien invaders, they always seem to make the

same basic mistakes every single time. With that in mind, allow me to



Things I'd Do If I Ever Became An Evil Overlord...

My Legions of Terror will have helmets with clear plexiglass visors, not

face-concealing ones that can hide the enemy.

My ventilation ducts will be too small to crawl through.

My noble half-brother whose throne I usurped will be killed, not kept

imprisoned in a forgotten cell of my dungeon.

Shooting is not too good for my enemies and should be done asap.

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 killing them.

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 master 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 implementation.

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 aforementioned disposal.

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


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 advisors, 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


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 storm troopers, 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


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 my bed


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


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 into


All bumbling conjurers, clumsy squires, no-talent bards, and cowardly

thieves in the land will be pre-emptively put to death. My foes will

surely give up and abandon their quest if they have no source of comic


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 Generation X.

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 the attacking

leader 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 my


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 advisor says to me "My liege, he is but one man. What can one man

possibly do?'', I will reply "This.'' and kill the advisor.

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


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 local


My main computers will have their own special operating system that will

be completely incompatible with standard IBM and Macintosh powerbooks.

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 her.

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

target practice.

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 firefight.

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 -- The flames will be


I will see a competent psychiatrist and get cured of all extremely

unusual phobias and bizarre compulsive habits which could prove to be a


If I must have computer systems with publicly 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.

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 death ray.

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.

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 the wild.

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 super weapon on them.

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.

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.

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 -- unless he resists."

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 structure.

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.

I will not have captives of one sex guarded by members of the opposite


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 again.

After I capture the hero's super weapon, 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


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 regard.)

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


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 cellmate 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 at least 1.45Mb in

size so that it won't conveniently fit on a single diskette.

Finally, to keep my subjects permanently locked in a mindless trance, I

will provide each of them with free unlimited Internet access and, of

course, free e-mail!