Wednesday, May 31, 2006

How To Be An Evil Overlord

How to be an Evil Overlord

1.0 Assuming the Throne Gracefully
1.1 Problem One: THe Current Evil Overlord
1.2 Executing your Plan, Among Other Things
1.3 Putting Yourself Into Position

2.0 Dealing with the In-laws
2.1 Just Kill Them
2.2 Possible Vengeances

3.0 Maintaining the Throne
3.1 Choosing Bodyguards
3.2 Choosing Advisors
3.3 Intelligence Networks, Not an Oxymoron
3.4 Your Evil Stronghold
3.5 Keeping them on the Payroll
3.6 Nothing is Forever

4.0 Keeping the Peons in Order
4.1 Taxes, Your Best Freind
4.2 Police Who Dont F*** Around
4.3 Illiteracy Isn't All Bad

5.0 Evil Plots Just Dont Make Themselves
5.1 Stick to What You Know
5.2 Special Effects
5.3 Evil Plots for Fun and Profit
5.4 The Five-Year plan

6.0 Oh, Look, the Good Guys
6.1 The Best-Laid Plans
6.2 Your Fortress
6.3 Dead Or Alive?
6.4 Get Them Before They Get You

7.0 Congratulations, you're an Evil Overlord!
7.1 Fine Tuning your Empire
7.2 Advances in Technology
7.3 The Wife and Kids
7.4 Nepotism, Not Always A Good Idea

1.0 Assuming the Throne Gracefully

So, you wanna be an Evil Overlord. It's a good aspiration to have, but not everyone has the abilities, or more accurately, the common sense, to make it a reality. I've seen people with stars in their eyes get torn to shreds by starved dogs so many times, it has ceased to be funny. Perhaps it is for that reason I have decided to write this book, and help out average people, just like you.

The first misconception about being an evil overlord is you must have some special powers that will awe and frighten others. This is total bull. Anyone with the desire, and an IQ higher than your average stop sign, can follow the steps in this book to fame and power.

I know a lot of you are asking, If it is so easy to become an overlord, why haven't I? Simple: I already have. With my far-reaching tendrils of influence such as the one you are reading at this moment, I have ensured my power for decades to come. Not every Evil Overlord has to be in an obvious position of power. Think about it.

1.1 Problem One: The Current Evil Overlord

Now, the biggest problem facing most people who want to be Evil Overlords is that they do not live in an area currently under the influence of one. There must be a fascist regime already in place for you to usurp it's power. Creating an Evil Empire from scratch is a long process, and the subject for the sequel to this book, currently in production. If you do not live in an area under the bootheel of an Evil ruler, I suggest moving to one quickly, and just hanging out for about a year, getting the feel for the situation, and the people.

The current Evil Overlord, unless he is in posession of this book, will likely fall into one of two categories: Uselessly Cocky, or Paranoid Maniac. Both have their strengths and weaknesses. The USelessly Cocky Evil Overlord is so smug and secure in his power he does not mind flaunting himself, his wealth, and his influence. Naturally, these types are the easiest to dispose of.

The Paranoid Maniac Evil Overlord is more difficult. He may lock himself in his high tower, with all the doors steel-reinforced and guarded by homocidal cyborgs, or their technological equivalent, depending where and when you live. However, to exert his power, he must leave sometimes, and he must have definite modes of transportation. Also, information has to reach him somehow, even if it is through use of magic mirrors or a network of hidden cameras.

The current overlord can usually be recognized by his flowing attire, excessively plush and badly colored. Some of them, though, like to think of themselves as military geniuses, and dress in uniforms, or even combat gear. Almost without exception, the combat gear will be purely for show, and composed of aluminum, or thin plastic. Anything that doesnt stifle him too much on hot days.

This is possibly your biggest advantage. Even the most paranoid, twisted despots use the majority of their power to keep themselves in luxury and opulence twenty-four hours a day (or longer, depending what planet you reside on. Some have quite long days.) Consequently, they are very badly protected on a personal level, with the possible exception of force fields, magical or otherwise.

Prince Ludwig the Abbhorrent is the current Evil Overlord of Eregatia. He can be easily identified by his penchant for bright pink plumage complementing his black velvet attire. He loves to flaunt himself about the town atop his palanquin carried by eight amazonian babes, and surrounded by armed guards decorated in gold sequins and black spikes. Let's face it. His time is up.

1.2 Executing Your Plan, Among Other Things

Evil Overlords are notorious for doing such small things as marriages, executions, and even birthdays, with an extreme of pomp and grandeur, and in this, they have sealed their fate. With their overly-complex plans for security, special effects, catering, et al, they will undoubtedly leave holes in the plot large enough to drive a truck through, literally. Probably, though, this will not be necessary.
It is best to choose a time as public as possible to execute your plan. This will ensure that a lot of people will be there to witness your heroic deed, and this will let them spread the word to the entire hamlet/city/country/planet in no time. It will also help make sure that the Overlord will be guarded with a minimum of force, and retaliation should be easy to deal with.

Prince Ludwig the Abbhorrent is about to get married to the daughter of his longtime rival, Lord Hawsey the Daft. She is young, nubile and the perfect target for his twisted affections. he is going to hold the event in the inner sanctum of his Evil Stronghold, the Palace of Death. He is inviting all the peons from the surrounding villages to attend under penalty of death. Stupid, Stupid, Stupid.

One strong point, I cannot stress this enough: do it alone. The person who brings along his 'trusted freind' to guard his back, will most likely find a dagger coming from that direction. If not today, or tomorrow, then thirty years down the road he'll probably decide he'd make a better overlord, get a copy of this book for his birthday, and you're finished.
Step One: The Evil Stronghold. This is the first, and easiest, part of your plan. Every stronghold has the huge, menacing, guarded gate that a horde of blood-crazed hippies couldn't get past. Every stronghold, however, has the unguarded, unmonitored back entrance for use on special occaisions by the overlord and his party freinds. Stupid, stupid, stupid. But lucky for you.
Note: Don't forget to bring your weapon along. Nothing too dramatic, mind you. A knife, or a high-powered pistol will do nicely.
It may be a sewer grate that no sewage ever comes out of. It may be a part of the wall where an incongruous bush grows, to hide the badly-concealed door. It may be the left ear of the giant statue of himself that looms over the countryside. Whatever it is, it will likely only take you a couple hours of careful observation the day before to find, which brings us to the second step.

Bob, our hero, so to speak, intends to disrupt the events of the evening. As he is from a city outside the borders of Ludwig's empire, he was not able to come to the party the normal way. Ludwig's palace had one particularly stupid flaw, much to Bob's advantage. The Wall in the back runs through a dense forest. He hopped the fence, stole through the underbrush, and snuck in through the servants entrance at the rear.

Step Two: Finding the Overlord. Now that you are inside, you'll have no trouble wandering around. After all, the Evil Overlord is off somewhere with his big celebration, his bride to be, or whatever, leaving his precious fortress pretty much unguarded. He'll likely be holding it in his big underground cavern, courtyard, or living room, anywhere he can pack a lot of witnesses. The classic method for getting into the crowd now, is to dress as a commoner, wander the halls, and wait for a guard to find you. Say you got lost, and he'll politely direct you to the huddled masses. If he seems suspicious, bean him over his unprotected head, and keep wandering around.

Step Three: Choosing the Moment. OK, you're in. Piece of cake. You can see the overlord on his raised podium, pontificating to the uncaring crowd before him, his guards staring raptly, in awe of his magnificence. Makes you just wanna puke, doesn't it?
No matter what his occaision, he has to make a speech. It will typically culminate in a big flourish, and this is the prime choice to make your move. This is where he asks some pointless rhetorical question of the crowd, such as "Who has made your lives better?" or "Who here has the balls to face me?" It is at this time that you spout of one of the pre-planned witty responses located in Appendix A of this book, throw off your cloak, and make yourself known. The crowd will pull back, predictably, and the Overlord will sputter for a few seconds.
He'll probably tell his guards to get you, but this is where you surprise him. While he expects to have you dragged before him, and have some polite chit-chat for a few moments, you will turn the tables by killing him. Shoot the gun, throw the knife, whaveter. The major point here is to end his life.
His guards will still probably be standing stock still, the morons that they are. If they aren't, recite one of the crowd-churning lines in Appendix A to get the mob around you motivated, and have them deal with them. During the ensuing chaos, make your way up to the podium, assume a theatrical stance, and inform the people you are their new ruler.

Bob draws his pistol, and aims it as Ludwig is reaching the crescendo of his prenuptial speech. His bride to be is starting to nod off, even standing between the two muscle-bound green-skinned warriors guarding her. Bob cries, "Cease, you evil despot!"
Ludwig sputters for a few seconds, then falls to the ground, the wall behind him decorated in the interesting new shade known hereafter as Hint of Brain. The guards kinda stare around, not sure where this falls under their orders. "Get them, my oppressed brethren!" yells Bob, getting into the act. No-one takes the time no notice that they have never seen Bob before, and that Bob seems rather too healthy to have been living here for long. Within moments, the guards are beaten into quivering jelly, and the freed daughter is only too happy to embrace Bob. He sends her politely on her way, stepping up the the podium to calm the masses. Good thing he read this book thoroughly!

1.3 Putting Yourself Into Position

The crowds have all gone home, happy and rejoicing, and probably doing some severe vandalistic acts to your new home in the process. This is OK, it's expected, don't panic. tell the people they can burn the body of the Evil Overlord if they want, this always makes them feel secure under your leadership, for a little while, at least.
Find out where the Evil Overlord's bedroom is, let yourself in, and tidy up the place. If he's the least bit competent, he'll have a bunch of willing slave girls chained to the bedposts. Let them all go, in a magnanimous gesture. Guaranteed, a few will be so enamored by you, they'll stay willingly. Trust me, these are much more fun than chained damsels.
Get a good night's sleep, you little usurper. You've earned it.

2.0 Dealing With the In-Laws

Unless the previous overlord was sufficiently paranoid to have his entire family killed to ensure no-one would show up and chellenge his right to the throne, there are likely some pissed off relatives right about now. Brothers, sisters, cousins, or people he went to college with, it doesnt matter, they're going to try and assume power in your current time of weakness.
Also, there were probably some prophecies bouncing around, such as a baby who would arrive in the worst time of darkness, and bring light. Don't worry, they always sound like that. The typical solution to this little problem is to put the child in a basket, put it in a creek, and say goodbye, because, naturally, he'd never come back.

2.1 Just Kill Them

Now, this is utterly stupid. This is the reason prophecies have gained such power. A simple solution, and the most overlooked one, is to kill the prophetic child. The Evil Overlord should probably know who it is, (they like to keep tabs on such things) and he'll have files on him. Track down the kid, and take him. Stealing him away in the night is a good method.
You're probably feeling queasy about killing the little tyke, and if that is the case, put down the book, and resume your normal life. You want fries with that? However, if you are serious about this, read on. You're probably thinking you'll have someone else do it, but remember the earlier example. Never assume something is done unless you've done it. Get a knife, a gun, or a big rock, and just finish the job. I know, this sounds callous, but this is the only foolproof way.
A method that is gaining in popularity, however, is raise the child as your own. When he is about twenty, a good coming-of-age age, challenge him to a freindly little sword fight, and run him through. Or, challenge him to a freindly little sword fight, and have someone in the rafters put a bullet in his brain. While this is a tad riskier, it is probably much more to the liking of people these days. I remember a time when people were proud to kill Prophecy Kids. *Sigh* What is the world coming to.
Back to the other relatives, though. Brothers, cousins, nephews, these are also a necessary evil. While they aren't as hard to kill as a Prophecy Baby, they will get easier with practice. Get a good rifle, or magic wand, or whaveter is convenient, stalk them for a little while, and take them out while they're taking a whiz. Don't even mention that honor crap. If he's a threat, remove the threat. You don't challenge a cow to a one-on-one duel when you want steak, do you?

Bob shoulders his hunting rifle, and marks a little chalk line on the stock, bringing the tally to twenty-two. Thats the last of the relatives he has to worry about for ahwile. At first, he was a bit queasy, but he really got into it, trying to find places on the human body that make the most interesting exit wounds.

2.2 Possible Vengeances

Undoubtedly, the relatives you have just offed had freinds, or relatives of their own that you didn't think of. They'll want to kill you, as well. Fortunately, they will come to you, and by this time, you should have already completed the tasks to be set out for you in Chapter Three. Don't worry about it just yet.

3.0 Maintaining the Throne

Well, you've assumed power, and hopefully taken out the most immediate threats of retaliation. It's time to take control of your empire, and twist it to your evil machinations. Feel free to laugh maniacally whenever the urge strikes you.
The hardest part now is to avoid making the mistakes of your predecessor. This is a process best looked at in small parts.

3.1 Choosing Bodyguards

This can be one of the most important decisions of your entire life, from this point on. Obviously, the bodyguards the previous Evil Overlord had weren't all that good. He's dead, right?
You want people who don't give a rats ass that you're oppressing people: you get people from outside your borders. You want people who will actually try to keep you alive: pay them extremely well, and make it known from the beginning that if you die, they won't get paid anymore. Keep them happy, fulfill any non-ludicrous wishes they have. Don't worry, they won't be your bodyguards forever.
Training and equipment is also an important factor. While body armor can be acquired with relative ease, as well as weapons, one fact overlooked by almost every Evil Overlord are helmets. I don't know precisely why, but this is the case. You want well-constructed helmets that don't fall off in a strong wind. Black is always a good choice, perhaps with frightening little insignias covering it.

Bob surveys the group of people filling your courtyard. They have all answered the summons you posted in various cities and countries around you. They are a ragtag mob of delinquints, most of them already armed with modified guns and knives. He'll be weeding out the undesirables later on, of course, but for now, he has a sizeable chunk of strong arms and thick skulls.

3.2 Choosing Advisors

Again, you may have to look outside your borders for advisors. The three positions you'll want to fill will be Military, Public Relations, and Security. For a Military advisor, I reccomend getting a general or other such high-ranking officer who was drummed out on charges, even if you have to make the charges yourself. Never let him know it was you who got him kicked out, though. He might not take it well.

Bob was forced to trump up some false charges pertaining to certain undesirable desires the general was said to have. After the untimely court-martial, General Thiess was approached by Bob, and the deal was proffered. The General, bitter over his dismissal, eagerly accepts. He was acknowledged as a master tactician, but not the best conversationalist. He was reputed to have 'Kill Em All And Let God Sort Em Out' tattooed on his ass. to this day, this remains an unsolved mystery.

Have him organize your army. If no such army exists, have him go about recruiting and training your army. He'll know about covert operations, and how to operate successfully in an urban area. this will be handy if he has to recruit soldiers for an army that will later be used to oppress the people of the region. Give him a lot of cash, some power, and the free will to decide how the army should be trained; at the moment, he'll almost undoubtedly be better at it than you
Your Public Relations advisor will be a temporary position; in a little while, who will give a shit about the public anyway? Best to choose a female, someone of respect from the local town. Give her some freedom to make the people happy. You'll need the extra time.

Goodwife Helga organized some pro-life rallies, lowered the tax on ale, and started a series of physical fitness programs which would in turn allow for easier recruitment of choice specimens for the military.

Your Security advisor might be a bit harder to find. I reccommend using your ex-military guy to find you someone who is security-conscious; that is to say, paranoid. Give him the run of your fortress, and get his ideas on how to improve it, such as closing off doors, getting rid of that pesky dungeon, putting bars in your ventilation system. Listen to what he has to say, it may save your life.

Marcus was a little bit twitchy, but that was to be expected. He was in a pretty bad war about ten years previous, one that the General was a key player in. Of course, Marcus was on the opposing side, but they were past all that rivalry by now. Marcus had already pointed out dozens of security problems about the fortress, and had dispatched his four personal assistants to the countryside, looking for recruits for the information b ranch of the military.

3.3 Intelligence Networks, Not an Oxymoron

Perhaps the best tool an Evil Overlord has is his ability to know whats going on in his empire. This gives him a considerable advantage towards oppressing the people, suppressing rebellions, and knowing when heroic attempts on his life are to be made.
If the technology allows, use hidden cameras all over the place. In trees, streetlights, lanterns, badly-lit rafters, anywhere that something might happen. Solar batteries can do a lot these days, and will give your cameras a long lifespan. Period replacements will be necessary, of course, but you will need to make it known that touching one of the cameras will be a lethal offense in your country.
Spies are also good. Keep your security advisor around, as you will need him to manage your spy network. With him and your Military advisor, recruit spies among your populace. They might just be malcontents, or truly believe that they are helping their beneficient leader, but regardless, there will always be people willing to sell out their mothers for a couple hundred bucks.

Marcus had worked wonders in his six short weeks as a part of your advisory committee. Already there were three hundred members of the Secret Police wandering around, going about their lives, but reporting on the slightest hints of inssurrection and maliciousness. Some people vanished, never to be seen again. Some were approached with a job in the Secret Police.
Also, the microphone taps had been placed in three-quarters of the homes and places of social gathering in the nearest couple towns and cities. Information was gathered and sifted round the clock. Bob was pleased.

3.4 Your Evil Stronghold

This is the part of being an Evil Overlord that makes it all worthwhile, your own Evil Stronghold! Tastes will vary, as some will want the huge, sprawling marble palace, and others will go for more of the Gothic vaulted, menacing architecture. Of course, the vast, armed and armored complex is always a favorite. Regardless, it can look every bit as cool as you want, and still be secure.
Rule One: NO SECRET ENTRANCES!!! Really, people, I don't know what you're thinking!
Rule Two: Locks. Every door should have a lock on it. This may seem a bit excessive, but it is a good idea. Some doors should be key controlled, some should be combination locks. At the very least, it will slow down anyone who actually manages to get inside your fortress.
Rule Three: Guards. Guards should always patrol in pairs, and any given place should be inspected no less than once every eight minutes. With proper planning and manpower, this should be no problem.
Rule Four: Plumbing and Ventilation. Keep water pipes underground, and flooded at all times. Keep ventilation on the roof, and on at all times. Make sure no pipe, air or water, is large enough to contain a person. Grates every fifty yards is a good rule, as well, to keep out mechanical devices, or guided bombs.
Rule Five: The windows open from the insides, and are made of some sort of tough substance, such as tempered glass or plexiglass. Also, the openings should not be large enough to let a person through, and elevated such that it would be nearly impossible to get anyone in your windows.
Rule Six: The Perimeter. High fencing is a must, but this is not a real deterrent for anyone who is truly dedicated. Dogs, on the other hand, are an excellent deterrent. Guard patrols circling the fence are a must, and fifty yards from the fence on both sides must be kept barren of any brush or debris, and must be well lit. A patrol should go past a given section of fence once every four minutes, and one dog is to be tethered every fifty yards, if for no other purpose than to bark.
Rule Seven: The Main Gate. Everyone assumes that no-one would dare make an entrance through the front gate. This is a very erroneous assumption, as many a successful assasination has been made via the front gate. Vehicle inspections are a must, and if someone seems to be making an overly-acted attempt to get through without a vehicle inspection, shoot them. this will very rapidly dissuade anyone else from making such a mistake.
By following these rules, you can make your fortress as secure as possible without sacrificing any comfort. You will need a disproportionately large number of security personnell, but an Evil Overlord always has ways to make cash.

3.5 Keeping Them On the Payroll

Quite often, someone on your payroll will give out information to people you would really rather did not have it. They may do this because they are unsatisfied with their position in life, jealous of someone else's power, or because they disagree with what you do. The first two are simple enough to prevent, but the third one requires periodic brainwashing to keep under control. Watch "Clockwork Orange" a couple times for a good suggested method.
Now, it is always a good idea to have three stages of wealth in your army. Stage One is your average grunt worker, soldier, security guard. He will have a nice room to himself, plenty of spending cash, access to entertainment, and respect/fear from the populace. Best to only make them work five days a week. For the average person, this is pretty damn well off.
Stage Two are your low level leaders, such as your Security Commanders, talented spies, and the like. They will have a bit of land to themselves, a nice house, a car, a few servants, and a small fortune. A week of vacation time every three months is a good rule, as well. A content villain is a productive villain.
Stage Three are your high level leaders and advisors, such as your Spymaster, Military Advisor, Paranoid Guy, etc. They will have a small mansion on a nice piece of land, probably lakefront. Plenty of servants, methods of transportation, some good vacation time.
Simply put, don't give your workers a reason to be unhappy! Someone who is content with their job will be very unlikely to help usher in a regime where their particular services will be not needed.

3.6 Nothing is Forever

Now, one mistake many an Evil Overlord has made is to keep his assistants around for too long, and they become 'trusted friends'. Stupid, stupid, stupid. A trusted friend is just someone who knows all your secrets and has the ability to run away. At best, keep people around for eight years. Hopefully, they wont last this long anyway, as one immutable fact of life is, there is always up.
Plant the seeds in your lower ranks that if they want to advance in rank, there has to be an opening above them. This keeps them competitive, and they can always trust the men of equal rank to them. This also ensures a high turnover rate among your ranking officials.
Higher up, though, it culls your ranking officers, because with power comes security. Attempts on very high members of your empire are often unsusseccful, especially the Paranoid Guy, but once in a while, it works. Everyone slips up. If, after eight years or so, you think someone is getting too smug in their position, politely put a bullet into their noggin.

With the tragic losses of General Thiess and Marcus, who had accidentally brutally stabbed themselves to death while shaving, Bob was looking for people to fill their posts. A colonel in his army who had a fetish involving razors and soft tissues was elected to the rank of General Advisor, and a scapegoat from the local township with a natural aptitude at finding liars was elected to the post of Information Advisor. Goodwife Helga had mysteriously vanished the day before a 'We Love Bob' Barbecue. But it was a good BArbecue.

4.0 Keeping the Peons in Order

Now that you have firmly established your self as the undisuputed and indisputable ruler of the land, you need to exert the power that comes with it. thats right, after all your hard work, you've come to the fun part!
Oppressing the masses is not as hard as one might think. A simple combination of random beatings, heavy taxes, midnight disappearances, and a seemingly all-knowing law enforcement can crush the spirit of even the staunchest society in a matter of weeks.

4.1 Taxes, Your Best Friend

When used properly, a crushing tax can really wear down the people. Now, you may be tempted to go all out, such as taking 50% of whatever they have, but this has two drawbacks: sorting out what 50% of their belongings are, and telling wether or not they are lying. So a good rule of thumb, find out what the average person makes in a month, and take half of that. Example, the average person earns 80 farthings. Take 40 from everyone. Failure to comply results in a penalty.
Some of the wealthier inhabitants may be charged more, of course, and not just cash. Leave it up to the tax collector at this point. The tax collectors are merely members of your army earning brownie points with the Evil Overlord by doing some real work, so are likely to do whatever is needed to keep the people in line.
Of course, this would make everyone hate you, which is where tax breaks come in. By turning in valuable information, their name gets put on a shorter list of people from whom get taken only a small portion of their taxes. By turning in a good deal of information, or people possessed of good information, they may even be exempt from taxes. Of course, such people often do not last long, so pranks are unlikely at this point. Keep an eye on such traitors, they may make good spies and soldiers if their home life gets too difficult.

4.2 Police Who Don't F*** Around

This is what really strikes fear into the heart of your populace: the menacing figure of one of your law enforcement officials. Of course, it's your law. It is mandatory that you make some sort of insignia, or memorable design, incorporated into all your police troops. Something easily identifiable. A death's head, a lightning bolt, anything involving a fist, are all good choices, but the final design is left up to you. Even a full suit of body armor that is made to look skeletal, or demonic, works terrific, if a bit grandiose.
Now, if they look good, they must now act the part. They must be ruthless with the peons, and this includes beating bystanders who may be rooting for the little guy. Close combat weapons, either blunt sticks or sharp blades, strike more fear into their hearts, as they are less fatal, and thus leave lasting scars that people are forced to look at every day. Guns are best kept holstered unless absolutely necessary; make sure they know if a gun comes out if it's holster, it's serious business.
For your police forces, you may want a permanent group, instead of just a rotating roster with your regular army. In this case, root out the members of your army that have shown unneccessary sadism or cruelty during their training; they are perfect. High-school dropouts, street punks, and telemarketers are also good groups to get such people from directly.

Bob had formed a public police force whose job was to keep the people completely terrified of breathing the wrong direction. Their armor was black, menacing, with white highlights ment to resemble skeletal bones. Their visage was as horrifying as the fates that befell anyone who didnt get out of their way. Bob was pleased.

4.3 Illiteracy Ain't All Bad

One of the classic ideas made well-known recently is the concept that 'if the ability to rebel or revolt hinges on the ability to think of such things, remove that which lets them think of such things.' They are referring to, of course, the language.
With no formal schooling, soon they will degrade into their own fashion of speaking, with fewer and fewer words being passed along as the generations progress. This makes it much easier for them to communicate to eachother, and much harder for them to communicate with anyone or anything else. It is a good idea to beat people advocating knowledge or education to within an inch of their life, with a few permanent injuries, as an example to the others.

5.0 Evil Plots Don't Just Make Themselves

This is the true point to being an Evil Overlord, the reason this book was published. How often have you seen Evil Overlords, whether real or imagined, come up with plots that sound theoretically perfect, but in practice, are so obviously destined to fail you just want to beat them with a lead pipe?
An Evil Plot can be almost anything, but it must be something that will earn you respect and/or fear, or land, or money. There are three stages to planning an Evil Plot, which we will go through individually.

5.1 Stick to What You Know

Many times, an Evil Overlord plans an Evil Plot that, really, they aren't too sure about. A disgruntled rocket scientist, now an Evil Overlord, may try something in the field of genetic engineering. You can tell something is going to go wrong.
Now, in your years as Evil Overlord, you must have been doing something, right? YOu can brush up on your rocket science, genetic engineering, magical splicing, and other such maniacal fields of study. This should give you a backing in the major areas of fiendishness, but really only attempt something that really strikes your fancy, and you have some interest in. I, myself, have an interest in writing and publishing, hence my Maniacal Plot to Turn The World Into Evil Overlord Wannabes.

Bob had always been good at math when he was in school, and metal shop. Combined with a couple of books on mechanics from his personal library, he decided his first Evil Plot would involve a giant killer robot. The ninety foot tall behemoth was sheathed in battleship plating, with 90mm howitzer cannons mounted at every joint. It was pretty.

5.2 Special Effects

Every plot has to be bigger than life, as well. Keeping in mind, this is not practical, and thus goes against most of what I have taught in this book, it is for a different reason. Evil Overlords always try and make a plot bigger than life because they feel they have to prove themselves. You are doing it reinforce your image of power and invulnerability among those you are in control of. A little awe mixed in with the fear can go a long way towards stemming a rebellion.
Most special effects can be accomplished with the careful application of high explosives, or some magical illusions, depending on which is more available. Using one to simulate the other works wonders.
Making a plot seem more theatrical may involve more than some interesting explosions. Some pomp among your guards, such as fancy but still functional armor, may start some rumors about your elite troops, and will give your soldiers some self-confidence boosting show-off time. The construction of a special location is also good, but make sure to pay special attention to the Evil Stronghold section of this book when planning it.

The howitzers were lined with flamethrowers, so a burst of flame accompanied each round that was fired. Also, the behemoth was shaped to resemble a demon, complete with big spikes, fangs, and glowing red eyes. It thundered when it moved, due to the addition of 440 watt cabinet speakers in it's legs. It also fired off grenades in random directions, helping the total chaos that followed it's rampages.

5.3 Evil Plots for Fun and Profit

Not every Evil Plot also has to result in devastation. Kidnapping a rival's wife/daughter/ pet is an excellent way to make the necessary enemies that allow you to stay in power. The kidnapping itself is relatively easy if your target does not have a copy of this book, but even if they do, it just takes some careful planning. Naturally, with the resources at your disposal, tracking someone isn't terribly difficult, and finding the right moment to snatch them simply takes patience.
Also, some Evil Plots dont result in devastation at all, at least not immediately. A Popular Evil Plot is the creation of a Super Soldier, or other such artificial construct. Anything from a mutant to a golem to a cyborg is acceptable, provided that you have worked out the bugs in their systems. However, oftentimes they decide to make one as a test, and even if it doesnt work, they keep it around. Destroy it. Enough said.
Assuming you have perfected the way to make these soldiers loyal, reducing the chance they will turn on you and kill you to nil, you have to mass produce them, and this is where the real heart of your Evil Plot lies. Of course, you are expected to need some special shipment, or delivery, or something special to complete your process. If you do, for the love of God, don't tell anyone. This can be exploited, and you won;t like that very much.

The giant robot was eventually used to remove the daughter of Ludwigs longtime rival (you remember her!) from her house near the borders of Bob's land. The robot was destroyed while fleeing, but the container holding the girl was safely removed by the use of sub-orbital jump jets, exactly as per Bob's plan. The ransom was the complete abdication of the man's holding, and the land returned to the people. Reluctantly, he was forced to accept, and when his daughter was returned, he was exiled to a far off island. The people rejoiced, being free of their Evil Overlord. At least, until Bob showed up. See, even the loss of a Giant robot and the daughter of your rival can still end in pretty impressive gains.

5.4 The Five-Year Plan

This portion of the cunstruction of a good Evil Plot calls for the use of a five-year old child of average intelligence. Sit him down, give him a soda pop, and explain all your plans to him. Any problems or errors he can point out must be fixed immediately. I don't mean to sound sarcastic, but too often I have seen holes in a plot large enough to drive a truck full of dead Evil Overlords through.

6.0 Oh, Look, The Good Guys

As one of those rules of nature, every Evil Overlord must be challenged periodically by Heroes. The first few are almost always killed, martyred, which only serves to attract more powerful people to try and slay you.
This is quite possibly the easiest part of being an Evil Overlord, if you aren't too full of yourself. Consider it: how many times have you seen an Evil Overlord have his would-be killers held at gunpoint, only to explain all of his plans, and then place them in an overly-elaborate, easily escapable death-trap, and assume all went well? You know who I am talking about.
Most of this section may seem like total common sense, but it seems it needs reinforcing.

Brian the Buff had decided that Bob's reign of terror was destined to end, and he set out to bring justice to the war-town countryside. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

6.1 The Best-Laid Plans

Naturally, they will find out about your plan. You can't stop all of your troops from talking, so somewhere, a rumor gets started, and before long, it's escalated into a wild horror story, typically blown out of proportion. Nevertheless, the choice time to be attacked by a group of Do-gooders is at the culmination of one of your Evil Plots, covered in the previous chapter.
You can have some fun with this, however. Many times, they will split into two groups: one to difuse the horrible bomb/count-down item, which almost every plan has at least one of, and one group to go and get you. A simple trick to solve the first problem is to set the countdown a little bit fast. He will think, "Oh, look, I have one minute seventeen seconds to stop this." Boom. Works every time.
The other group, those who would find you, capture you, tell you about your evil ways, expect repentance, and drag you off to prison, are a little more difficult to deal with. They might have copies of my short instructional manual, How to Slay Evil Overlords, or they might have inside information about your Evil Stronghold gleaned from a soldier they captured. the possibilities are endless, but always remember, they have a plan.

Brian the Buff had heard horrible rumors concerning a plan to raise a volcano in the countryside with the use of a tactical nuclear weapon and an overly-elaborate setup of machines. (It was designed to look overly elaborate.) He assembled some freinds from the silly little war he was involved in some years previous, all armed with a great deal of weaponry and not enough brains.
The whole thing was purported to take place on the eve of a full moon, in the back several acres of his palatial grounds.

6.2 Your Fortress

As we mentioned before, your stronghold should be virtually impervious to assault, but it is likely a truly zealotous group of misguided heroes will find a way in. Assuming they do not get captured by your guards, killed by your dogs, or blown to pieces by the carefully positioned automatic weapons, they can be very easily tracked by your omnipresent surveillance equipment. A group of soldiers dispatched with hair-triggers and bad attituted should bring them down in no time.
This is no time to get cocky, mind you. This is the true test of being a competent Evil Overlord. you may feel the urge to let them wander around, but their capacity for mischief is never to be underestimated. Give them an inch, soon they have a foot, and pretty soon, you haven't got a leg to stand on.
Hanging the corpses, stripped, outside your main gate in plain view of the public works as an excellent deterrent, or even capturing them alive and keeping them in cages. However, always keep a concealed automatic weapon aimed at their heads at all time. If one escapes, it can mean a world of bother.

6.3 Dead or Alive?

This is the question you must ask yourself. Will you gain more from killing them instantly, or by keeping them alive? Of course, your palace has no dungeon, no place to properly question and torture them. I find a small motel on the fringes of your empire work terrific for this, as everyone expects you to do nasty things to them in your Inner Sanctum. A simple deterrent is not to have one.
After they have been questioned, a little strategic extraction of vital organs may be on order. Tongues, vocal cords, index fingers, all these make it very difficult for them to contine on in life. The aforementioned tactic of keeping them in cages outside your main gate under constant supervision of a big-bore bullet functions well as a lesson to all those who would challenge your power.

6.4 Get Them Before they Get You

If your Intelligence network is worth half the resources you put into it, you will know of a heroic plot long before it is ever carried out. Keep tabs on people who speak ill of you, by use of the concealed microphones in every table in your empire. Of course, this takes a lot of manpower to sort through the information, but you can handle the monetary end of it. Just up the taxes.
Now, you'll want to find out where all of them are gathering, typically an abandoned building during a storm. This makes it almost pathetically easy for you, but they never seem to catch on. When they have all congregated and are discussing their little plans, your men are busy placing the shaped charge explosives at key points outside the building, and your troops with incindiary weapons are getting into position. Once you are ready, dont delay. Blow the building, and torch the place.
I find the Argentinian treatment works very well, also. When they are all out somewhere, perhaps a restaraunt, one of them will invariably go off on his own. This is where your men in the big black coats show up, and whisk him away. His body will be found hanging outside your wall, and no mention will be made of it. Let them make their own conclusions. This is a cheap way to head them off at the pass, as it were. Two or three may be necessary for the truly stupid to catch on.

Bob decided not to take chances this time around, and when he caught wind of Brian the Buff's plans to ruin his Evil Plot, he took action. Discovering that the party of heroic adventurers were to be having one last drink at a bar in the nearby city, he dispatched his men in the big black sedans.
Brian was just stepping out of the bar when he was approached by two large men in black jackets. Brian's freinds were stepping out of the bar just in time to see him get hauled into a large car and sped away. they were speechless, of course.
Bob followed their motions for the rest of the night. They planned to make the assault the next day regardless, so Bob decided another lesson was in order. Sally, the headstrong but stunning blond with the bug guns, was going over the map with the other heroes when her head suddenly exploded from the high-bore bullet that travvelled through it. The group decided it was tome to go home.
Needless to say, the volcano wreaked havoc for miles around. Millions of dead. Tragic.

7.0 Congratulations, You've an Evil Overlord!

If you have made it this far, then you have used the priciples in this book to your advantage.. Years may have passed you have a few Evil Plots under your belt, the citizens are living in squalor and curse you under their breaths at every opportunity. Be proud.
But you may be getting a little complacent, even a little bored. Fear not, this is a stage every Evil Overlord must go through at some time, unless he is an extremely inventive Evil Overlord and has enough plots to keep him going till he dies of an anyeurism.

7.1 Fine Tuning Your Evil Empire

You've probably acquired a few good ideas, such as upgrading your army to Linux-operated cyborgs or genetically engineered troops with only three thought processes. These are worthy aims, and you should pursue them at any given opportunity. Get hid of the possibility of human error the only sure way: get rid of the humans.
Perhaps some revamping of the Evil Image your army has. times may have changed, and the vampiric raccoon emblem may have lost some of it's impact. This is to be expected. Blades can always be incorporated to good effect. See Appendix B for Threatening Objects. Your citizens might even have gotten used the oppressive bootheel of your regime. Mix it up a little bit! Increase the taxes, unreasonable demands, release some amusing virii among the populace. I have found that unexplained events, such as some house doors having burnt X's carved onto them can create whole religions if given the right impetus. Such as, some of these houses (not all, mind you) mysteriously blow up a week later. A little bit of chaos is good for them at this pint in their lives, they need the excercise.

7.2 Advances in Technology

Time passes, even in the most backwater of Evil Empires. Technology grows, and sometimes it has to be implemented, or conversely, suppressed. A Cheaper form of energy becomes available from outside your empire, and starts getting smuggled in. House searchings can be stepped up, but this is not terribly creative. An Evil Plot, however, is just what you need!
I am sure you can think of many ways to deal with technological problems on a large scale. Something that makes them all blow up is a classic, but by no means the only option available to you.
On the other hand, if the troops you are currently using seem to be getting slow and sluggish, use of cutting-edge pharmaceuticals can be just what they need! Technically this falls under Evil Plots, but many a time an Evil Overlord fails to pay attention to what is happening outside your borders. This is a fatal mistake, for without something to compare it to, an Evil Empire is just an Empire that Sucks Really Harsh. You rely on outside influences to make your Empire tick.

7.3 The Wife and Kids

Sooner or later, those suppressed hormonal urges are going to manifest themselves. Perhaps in an Evil Plot, perhaps in dreams about rutabagas and dancing clowns. Either way, it probably wont turn out very good for you. you'll reach that stage where you wanna meet a nice girl (or guy), settle down, have a couple kids. Naturally, choosing from your empire is not a wise choice!
Going outside your borders is a necessity when looking for a prospective mate. Maybe hit some singles bars, dress nicely, and above all, show her that money is no object. They always fall for the aura of power.
They might not react terribly well to your Evil ways, but they can be disposed of fairly easily. I can't give perfect, guaranteed advice on this subject, as love is the most fickle kind of power in the universe.
A classic matching, however, is another Evil Overlord. They come in both the male and female varieties these days, and a pairing is always a sure way to further your own power. Make some discreet inquiries into surrounding Empires currently ruled by the opposite sex, and definitely check to see if they have a copy of this book. Those who do are obviously of a higher caliber of intelligence.
You may not trust eachother immediately, or ever, but there is always the mutual respect for another Evil Overlord. You can plot together, torture together, go for walks within the confines of your fotress (or hers). You may not see eachother too much, considering your hectic schedules, but you can always make time to meet, especially if your empires are adjacent.

7.4 Nepositm, Not Always Good Idea

The subject of children is always a sensitive topic among Evil Overlords. None of them want to admit that they, the all-powerful icons of loose morals and bloodthirsty savagery, want a little tyke or seven of their own. In fact, they often have the strongest feelings of that maternal instinct, given the mass of repressed emotions they mujst surely have.
Raising your kids, again, is a slightly risky subject. It is a good idea to give them some power of their own as early as possible. As soon as they are able to brandish a gun menacingly and laugh maniacally is a good age to start them with the weapons. If they have been given a taste of maliciousness that early, they will probably grow to like it. But make no mistake, there are no guarantees. Not every kid wants to turn out like his dear old Dad, so keep that sniper on standby at all times.

8.0 Conclusions

Well, you have been given the guide to make it in the world of Evil Overlords. You've probably made a few freinds, perhaps even been invited to the Evil Overlord Barbecue and Hero Lynching festival a few times.
I hope that you have found this book useful, and will use it's teachings in the most twisted and irresponsible ways imaginable, all while maintaining that little piece of common sense that allows you to reach old age without being captured or killed.
Keep an eye out for my follow-up books, How To Be A Stereotype Hero, How To Be A Stereotype Villain, and Seven Easy Steps to Maniacal Laughter.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

OMG.. I can't believe you put something that long up lol

There's no way I have the attention span to read this!!!

BTW, how's the new baby?