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If I Ever Become an Evil Overlord ...

  •   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.

  •   My noble half-brother whose throne I usurped will be killed, not kept anonymously imprisoned in a forgotten cell in my dungeon.

Darth Vader   •   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 kept 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, "Hell, no," and then shoot him ... on second thought, I'll shoot him and THEN say, "Hell, 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 have anything with 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 "Danger: Do Not Push" will instead trigger a spray of bullets on anyone stupid enough to disregard it.

  •   I will not interrogate my enemies in my inner sanctum   —   a small hotel far 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, river, etc.

  •   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 ladies of the rebellion are, I will assume that 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 bedchamber.

  •   I will never build only one of anything that is 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 never accidentally fall.

  •   I will dress in bright and cheery colors in order to throw my enemies into confusion.

  •   All bumbling conjurers, clumsy squires, no-talent bards, and cowardly thieves in the land will be put to death. My foes will surely give up and abandon their quest if they have no source of comic relief.

  •   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 demonstrate 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 diabolical. Nowadays 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, nor even in the same cell block. 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 younger siblings or children, 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 devices.

  •   When I capture the hero, I will make sure I also capture his dog, monkey, ferret, or any other cute little pet that is capable of untying ropes and filching keys.

  •   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 tell her my plans.

  •   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 any advisor says to me "My liege, he is but one man. What can one man possibly do?" I will reply, "This," and immediately 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 mature.

  •   I will treat any beast which I control through magic or technology with respect and kindness. That way, if the control is ever broken, it will not immediately come after me for revenge.

  •   If I learn the whereabouts of the one obscure 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 will quietly put a Want-Ad in the local paper for the artifact.

  •   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.

      ... stolen from some remote place on the Internet.

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