Jun 2011

Being an OverlordIt's not as easy as it looks

While being an evil Overlord can certainly be fun. It is not an easy profession. Sure, it's relatively easy to just get to the top and stay there unchallenged no matter how evil you are (see this list), but it takes real skill to be evil enough to be a thread and yet inept enough to be defeated. I mean, no one is going to believe you are going to take over the world as "Johnny the Fruit Vendor" with your "Cucumber of Inevitable Doom".

So, let's look at the necessities.

Personal Presentation

This is all about how to dress, behave and, most importantly, how to name yourself. One cannot be an overlord with at least a fairly dramatic overlordian name. Yes, Bozo the Clown sounds funny, but it doesn't have that oomph to cause people to be inflicted with sudden fear-inspired loose bowel syndrome.

  • A name, but pick something evil. Yes, it might be obvious, but Mark the Bringer of Kittens is surprisingly common.
  • A random quirk and/or tic. Maniacal laughter is an easy choice, but it's better to be a bit more original in this matter.
  • A theme for your particular brand of evilness. If you absolutely have to be the bringer of kittens, make sure your castle and wardrobe fit appropriately.

The Lair

No overlord can be without an evil(or at least impressive) lair. It is the backbone of your operations and will decide much for how you portray yourself to the outside world. Common options range between live volcanoes and eerie castles on mountain tops. But, no matter where you place yourself, there are a few things an evil lair must have:

  • 3 entrances/exits. A large, dramatic and bombastic one, for the public. A "secret" one for heroes and a really secret one for you to get away once you are "defeated". - The "hero entrance" should contain at least a few mildly dangerous traps; like fire in regular intervals or death pits.
  • A room which can serve as a death trap. There is quite a bit of freedom on this one, but pools with sharks (without lasers) or crusher rooms are the most common. If the lair allows it, the more elaborate the trap, the better.
  • A dungeon, obviously. If the lair is built somewhere high, it's customary to have the important people in the dungeon at the top of the tower.
  • A command center, also known as "The room with flashy lights and things that go boom when coffee is spilled"
  • A nice bedroom. There's no reason why an overlord shouldn't get a proper night (or day) of sleep. It's hard work to take over the world, you know!

Number 2

Great care should be taken in selecting a number 2, your trusted second in command. He should be smart enough to avoid getting killed by people below him but should never be aware of your full plan either (as he would try and usurp you). People you should avoid as your number 2:

  • Family - It just brings a lot of grief. Either you care too much about them, not letting them perish or they would unhealthily desire your position.
  • A mad scientist - While useful as a Minion, don't give them any responsibility in your organisation. If you have trouble understanding why, just imagine your minions being ordered to rob a bank while being transformed into butterflies.
  • An AI. - "Daisy, Daisy. Give me your answer do." Yeah... let's not go there.


Basically, anything goes for minions. From small robots to large demons, from guys named Ted to a random selection of tramps that you picked off of the street. The more the merrier, I mean, if a hundred lackeys can't kidnap a princess, then two hundred might! Ideally they should not be too smart.

While it's helpful to have at least a large batch of completely superfluous minions to throw at any task at hand, there are a few important ones that you need to have, to complete your workforce.

  • A completely inept guard for the dungeons. - Able to fall asleep or fall for silly tricks like people hiding behind the door. It also helps if he carries the ring of keys on his person at all times.
  • A mad scientist. Mostly in case you are not very technical yourself, having some random Science! thrust at you is never a bad thing. Just make sure to test them out on some randoms before you use it on anyone important.
  • An able cleaning force. Just because you're evil doesn't mean you should be dirty.

That's it for now, you should be set for basic overlordism. And remember, you didn't get it here!

ps. I am doing a fun little secret project for this. You will hear more about it later. Ssshhh! it's all very hush hush.