The Generic Villain on Minion Job Requirements

Many of our plans are most easily foiled by the actions of our minions. I get that. It’s Dramatic Necessity. But just because it’s Dramatic Necessity doesn’t mean we shouldn’t at least make it difficult for the heroes to take advantage of our little lambs rather than just utilizing holes a mile wide in their training. Around here, if you’re going to be a minion, you have to know things.

All minions are required to know how to recognize each other. Yes, in the big faceless mass. How many heroes have managed to sneak into the middle of a seemingly secure group in the uniform of the minions, wreak havoc, and maybe even leave the minions doing their victory dance completely unaware of the source, just because people weren’t trained in recognition beyond “It wears the uniform, it must be one of us!” No. My minions will be trained in vocal, facial and other forms of recognition; one who is faceblind will be paired up with at least two who are particularly observant, heavily trained in other modes of recognition, and otherwise shored up. This goes triple for the leadership. And along with being trained to recognize each other, minions will be required to be able to learn faces quickly, so that when the description of the latest heroic troublemaker goes through the ranks, they will know who they are dealing with when she shows up.

Minions will be fully trained in the use of all their equipment. This not only includes its use in as many possible situations as can be simulated (particularly ensuring that they are as good against moving targets as they are against stationary ones), but proper care and maintenance. Sure, the hero can exploit the condition of the weapon regardless of the minion’s effort, but it’s a lot harder against something that’s been taken proper care of. And particularly, if one of my minions is running around with a valuable magic item, that minion needs to be willing and able to use it. No excuses.

Minions will know at least the basics on the detection of falsehoods—and preferably evasions while they’re at it. How many have let the heroes get away because they assumed the little snot in front of them was being completely honest?

Minions will understand the importance of double-checking things. If someone comes in with a story that doesn’t add up, they will first call in a reinforcement so that someone else is watching the person with the improbable story, then go to check the story, and only then let the person with the improbable story in. (If the story doesn’t line up, they will take the person telling it around the long way. Through an ambush which they will have set or had someone else set on the way back from checking the story.)

Minions will know which skills and abilities to use against which opponents. If one very clearly has an immunity to one form of magical injury, and another has a weakness, the minions will be trained in knowing which one to target. They will also be given courses on threat assessment, resource management and teamwork.

Last of all, minions will learn to sprinkle all conversations with references to their lives outside the workplace. If they do not have personalities and lives outside the workplace, they will be issued one. Not only does it make it that much harder for the heroes to dehumanize them enough to salve their little Light-blind consciences, but it also makes it easier for us to provide proper employee incentives.

Just because Dramatic Necessity favors the heroes winning doesn’t mean we should make the job easy, and the bottom of the ladder is the first place to stop. Implement minion reform today!


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  1. A Minimum of Skill (Or Something!) | Exchange of Realities
  2. The Generic Villain on Shining Star Minions | Exchange of Realities

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