The Generic Villain vs. the Evil Overlord List, Items 47-53

The Generic Villain continues a point-by-point facedown and update of that reference material of all baddies with imperial ambitions, The Evil Overlord List.

47. If a callow youth is starting a quest to destroy you, get rid of him while he’s still a callow youth. I really can’t improve on this one—trying to kill destined prots while they’re still babies may ensure that they go after you when they grow up (and often sabotage you in the process), but once they’re on the quest and definitely opposing you, they’re fair game. And if you succeed, keep a close eye on their closest allies. The multiverse is getting increasingly fond of Un-Chosen Ones.

48. Treat any beast you control kindly and respectfully so it doesn’t turn on you the moment the control is broken. This one really doesn’t take much improvement either.

49. When you’ve received the location of the one thing that can destroy you, instead of sending all the troops to seize it, sic the troops on something else and put out a want ad. This one definitely has merit—if you send all the troops, people know it’s important—but it has its risks as well. I prefer sending most of your troops to seize something else and a small team of minions to seize the potentially dangerous artifact, and making sure that the minions in question think it’s for something that it isn’t technically for, just in case they run into the heroes. (For extra credit, if you need the item destroyed, give the minions instructions that make them think it is the absolute can’t-lose-it key item to your Great Plan—then the heroes might destroy it for you, or at the very least will make a careful point of making sure you and it are never in the same place at the same time.)

50. Main computers on their own operating system. The main thing this point needs is an update—make sure it isn’t compatible with anything portable and operating system capable. (Given the improbable hacking skills common among heroes, you’ll want to include not only smartphones but also portable gaming consoles in the no-connect list. And no wireless.)

51. If a dungeon guard is expressing concern over conditions in the princess’s cell, move him. Absolutely. This goes the same regardless of the genders of the guard and the prisoner, though I would like to point out that the scenario as it currently stands is in violation of #84, no guards over prisoners of the opposite sex, which we will explore in more detail later.

52. Hire board-certified architects and surveyors to check castle for secret passages and abandoned tunnels. Good plan. Then make sure they aren’t going to talk about it (I prefer memory modification and an impressive pay bonus to keep silent—that way they may know that what they know is important, but they don’t know they don’t actually know, and you can insert false memories to direct any heroes who question the architects to well-surveyed deathtraps rather than to working passages. If you’re feeling really ambitious, change each set of memories differently so you can figure out who’s been compromised by which trap the heroes head for.

53. Kill the princess if she flat-out refuses to marry you. I’ll grant that it’s better resources-wise than wasting your resources attempting to cajole someone who isn’t interested and will probably backstab you as soon as she gets a chance, but as with #8, I’m going to go back to the all-important question: why are you marrying the princess, again? There might be a reason you need her alive.

1 comment

  1. UZ says:

    Honestly, what is with all this princess management? Leaving aside the possibility that she is just super hot and you’re kind of compulsive, all I can figure is that

    1) Princess is somehow unique or special regarding some device or metaphysical figuration, or

    2) Your plan revolves in some way around primogeniture and by marrying her you become “prince”.

    I won’t speak for (1) except to say that no plan involving ancient princess-powered devices and figurations has *ever* worked. But (2)… come on.

    First, not all forms of noble succession automatically make the spouse the owner of the estate – Queen Elizabeth II is married to Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh and they won’t hardly let him drive a car, let alone the United Kingdom.

    Second, many societies have lines you can’t marry across – gender and caste being the most obvious, although some might argue that those are similar kinds of thing. In any case, what do you do if the Great Star Dragon won’t marry you to another guy, or a member of the Water Carriers or whatever? Give up I guess.

    Third… really? Your “evil” plan involves appealing to the local divines to bless the marital union between you and someone else so you can get their stuff? Since when does a real Hand of Darkness worry about property rights anyway?

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