Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Evaluating the Evil Overlord list, 11 - 20

Evaluating the Evil Overlord list, 11 - 20

Second in a series

11.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.
A chance to use one of my favorite Roadmarks passages!

"I wonder whether your reliance on an agent is a mark of fear?"
"Fear? No more than Chadwick's hiring me is an indication of fear on his part. He is a very busy man. He sought to employ efficiency, as do I. Do you think I fear to fight you, or any man?"
Red smiled.
"No," John said, noting the smile. "You shan't goad me into giving you an unearned chance at life. Your opinion of me means nothing when I know better."
Red puffed on his cigar.

I’ll mention that this reminds me one of my favorite Riddler stories. Leaving riddles was part of his pathology. He decided that he was just going to commit a no frills bank robbery and not leave Batman clues in the form of rhyming couplets. At the end of the story, Batman shows up and says something like “I solved your riddles and I’m here to arrest you.” It looks like they’re ready to fight until the Riddler says “I didn’t mean to leave clues. I did it subconsciously. I’m sick and I need help. Please take me to Arkham.”

Evaluation: Prudent.

12.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. Evaluation : On the surface, this seems rather glib, but when I first learning the craft of technical writing, an exercise that a professor suggested really helped me hone my craft. She suggested that students explain the topics they’ll be writing about to their friends and family. It helps you refine your thoughts, spot areas of concern and frame it in language that lay people can understand. A five-year-old is unlikely to spot the flaws in a plan (because five-year-olds are stupid), but explaining it to a kid could help illuminate flaws that would otherwise have gone unexamined.

13.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.

This one is largely discredited in the modern era. The Fugitive did this, and they did it right. Villains tend to look for the body unless circumstances conspire to prevent it.

14.The hero is not entitled to a last kiss, a last cigarette, or any other form of last request. This is a restatement of items that were mentioned earlier in the list. Don’t dither on the way to execution.

15.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 operation.

This isn’t as much a best practice as it is winking acknowledgement of the rules of the genre. The hero isn’t trying to stop the countdown at “007”; the hero is trying to stop the countdown as soon as possible. All that you’ve done is given him 117 seconds less than he thinks he has to work. It’s not nothing, misinformation is always a valuable tool, but it probably won’t be as effective as this entry implies.

16.I will never utter the sentence "But before I kill you, there's just one thing I want to know." Evaluation: I suppose it all comes down to how much the information is worth to you and where else you can get it.

17.When I employ people as advisors, I will occasionally listen to their advice.
Evaluation: Prudent, however the corollary to this is that having X advisors who are well-informed enough to advise you means that there are X more people that know your secrets.

18.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 and

19.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 father.

It depends on the nature of your regime. If you’re not immortal, you’re going to eventually want to groom a successor, and a biological child is a natural choice. However, as these tropes point out, it does have its pitfalls.

20.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 accordingly.
Evaluation: Prudent.

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