Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Evaluating the Evil Overlord list, 41 - 50

41. Once my power is secure, I will destroy all those pesky time-travel devices.

Evaluation:  Ugh. Time travel. There is a reason that, until relatively recently,  Doctor Who wasn’t really a show about time travel. Rather the TARDIS was a mechanism for getting to the adventure, whereupon it was out of the picture. The thing is, when you introduce time travel to the story, it comes with all sorts of baggage.  I’m of the opinion that unless it’s absolutely integral to the story, you’re better off not including time travel.

That said, this probably falls into the “easier said than done” category.  It’s a good idea, but difficult to pull off.

42. When I capture the hero, I will make sure I also get his dog, monkey, ferret, or whatever sickeningly cute little animal capable of untying ropes and filching keys happens to follow him around.

Evaluation:  This falls into the same category as “Be sure to find the body” from earlier in the list.  It’s great if you can capture the little bugger, but it’s a lot easier to capture a human than it is something small and fast. It seems most villains attempt this; they’re just unable to pull it off.

43. 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 let her in on my plans.

Evaluation: Prudent.

44. 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.

Evaluation:  I remember an issue of the Justice League where Batman doubled what Lex Luthor was paying the Mirror Master in order to get him to switch side (specifically, he made a donation of that amount to the orphanage where Mirror Master grew up. Despite that, this is probably a prudent course of action.

45. 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.

Evaluation:  I’m thinking of Grand Admiral Thrawn in Timothy Zahn’s Star Wars books. An underling failed him, but the guy had a solid plan that he executed well. Circumstances just conspired against him. Thrawn didn’t punish the guy. Rather he commended him and told him to refine the technique. The underling does and pulls it off successfully later in the series.

46. If an advisor says to me "My liege, he is but one man. What can one man possibly do?", I will reply "This." and kill the advisor.

Evaluation: Dude! I thought you weren’t arbitrarily murdering underlings!  It was literally the bullet point right before this one. What purpose does this serve? Honestly!

47. 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.

Evaluation: This requires a pretty serious surveillance state to pull off. You’re going to keep tabs on every callow youth in your empire?

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

Evaluation: Depends on how intelligent the creature is, and how well it comprehends what you’re doing to it.  A gilded cage is still a cage. Slavery is abhorrent for a reason, and no amount of kindness is going to offset that.

49. If I learn the whereabouts of the one 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 quietly put a Want-Ad in the local paper.

Evaluation: I take it that he doesn't mean this absolutely literally, but rather he'll employ some misdirection when looking for the Mcguffin. Placing a want ad only works in Single White Necromancer.

50. My main computers will have their own special operating system that will be completely incompatible with standard IBM and Macintosh powerbooks.

Evaluation: Take that, Independence Day! Ya burnt!

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