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.
I will maintain a realistic assessment of my strengths and weaknesses. Even though this takes some of the fun out of the job, at least I will never utter the line “No, this cannot be! I AM INVINCIBLE!!!” (After that, death is usually instantaneous.)
Once my power is secure, I will destroy all those pesky time-travel devices.
All bumbling conjurers, clumsy squires, no-talent bards, and cowardly thieves in the land will be pre-emptivly put to death. My foes will surely give up and abandon their quest if they have no source of comic relief.
I will not turn into a snake. It never helps.
I will not grow a goatee. In the old days they made you look diabolic. Now they just make you look like a disaffected member of Generation X.
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.
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.
My legions of terror will have helmets with clear Plexiglas visors, not face-concealing ones.
I will hire a talented fashion designer to create original uniforms for my legions of terror, as opposed to some cheap knock-offs that make them look like Nazi storm troopers, Roman foot soldiers, or savage Mongol hordes. All were eventually defeated and I want my troops to have a more positive mind-set.
I will offer oracles the choice of working exclusively for me or being executed. Those that take more than two seconds to respond will be killed either way.
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, totally reliable underling.
I will dress in bright and cheery colors, and so throw my enemies into confusion.
My undercover agents will not have tattoos identifying them as members of my organization, nor will they be required to wear military boots or adhere to any other dress codes.
I will keep a special cache of low-tech weapons and train my troops in their use. That way — even if the heroes manage to neutralize my power generator and/or render the standard-issue energy weapons useless — my troops will not be overrun by a handful of savages armed with spears and rocks.
When I employ people as advisors, I will occasionally listen to their advice.
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.
I will not imprison members of the same party in the same cell block, let alone the same cell. 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.
I will not order my trusted lieutenant to kill the infant who is destined to overthrow me — I’ll do it myself.
I will not interrogate my enemies in the inner sanctum — a small hotel well outside my borders will work just as well.
My ventilation ducts will be too small to crawl through.
I will not include 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 “Do Not Push” will instead trigger a spray of bullets on anyone stupid enough not to disregard it. Similarly, the ON/OFF switch will not clearly be labeled as such. There will be no Plug.
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.
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.
I will design all doomsday machines myself. If I must hire a mad scientist to assist me, I will make sure that he is sufficiently twisted to never regret his evil ways and seek to undo the damage he’s caused.
I will never build only one of anything important. For the same reason I will always carry at least two fully loaded weapons at all times.
I will be neither chivalrous nor sporting. If I have an unstoppable super weapon, I will use it as early and as often as possible instead of keeping it in reserve.
My main computers will have their own special operating system that will be completely incompatible with standard IBM and Macintosh power books. They will also have a virus protection program — just in case.
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.
The hero is not entitled to a last kiss, a last cigarette, or any other form of last request.
I will make it clear that I do know the meaning of the word “mercy”; I simply choose not show them any.
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, “No” and shoot him instantly.
Shooting is not too good for my enemies.
I will not gloat over my enemies’ predicament before killing them.
I will not waste time making my enemy’s death look like an accident – I’m not accountable to anyone and my other enemies wouldn’t believe it anyway.
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.
If my supreme command center comes under attack, I will immediately flee to safety in my prepared escape pod and direct the defenses from there. I will not wait until the troops break into my inner sanctum to attempt this.
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.
No matter how tempted I am with the prospect of unlimited power, I will not consume any energy field bigger than my head.
Even though I don’t really care because I plan on living forever, I will hire engineers who are able to build me a fortress sturdy enough that, if I am slain, it won’t tumble to the ground for no good structural reason.
Finally, to keep my subjects permanently locked in a mindless trance, I will provide each of them with free unlimited Internet access.