This is a classic...
Evil Overlord's minions guide
Originally from the written sf newsgroup by
John & Linda VanSickle (vansickl(at)erols.com)
The Evil Henchman's Guide
Recently, the Society of Evil Overlords has noticed a regrettable decline in
the availability and quality of fanatical henchmen, devoted worshippers, and
loyal infantry. We wish to correct this growing problem by submitting the
following general guidelines for Evil Henchmen.
DISCLAIMER: The use of masculine/feminine pronouns and assignment of gender
roles is not intended to preclude a reversal of gender roles. It is,
however, intended to offend those who think that nuclear missiles are
deployed because of their phallic appearance. Nyah.
I. GENERAL TIPS FOR HENCHMEN OF ALL VARIETIES:
1. Avoid getting sent to rough up the hero(es). Ransacking
hotel rooms is probably safe, but going 'round to beat up the good guys is a
sure ticket to the bottom of the Thames. Remember, however, that all Heroes
get roughed up at least once, so if this has never happened to the Hero, go
2. When the hero or his sidekicks are at your mercy, don't stop to gloat.
3. If you can't resist gloating, don't boast about the reward
you expect to receive from your master for bringing them in or killing them
4. If you gloat and boast, don't be surprised if a comrade of
the person you have at your mercy jumps you from behind while you're
distracted with your boasting.
5. If you fail to complete your mission, skip town. Returning
to the Evil Overlord to report on your failure will usually get you killed.
6. Avoid killing people not actively involved in the rebellion;
the Evil Overlord has enough enemies as it is. Especially don't kill
relatives, significant others, or best friends of the hero. Normally after
the Evil Overlord is overthrown, henchmen can get off with just a little
community service time, but if you off the Hero's loved ones, he'll make
lasagna out of you.
7. Unless the Evil Overlord pays extra for indiscriminate
slaughter, avoid it. Why should you give your services away for free?
8. As tempting as it may be, never try to ravish the Evil
Overlord's beautiful-but-wicked daughter. She can probably mop the floor
with you. Daddy will *not* try to stop her.
9. Learn where the trap door is in the Evil Overlord's audience
chamber. Avoid standing there, especially when bad news is brought to the
10. While the Evil Overlord is gloating over his anticipated
success in the venture he is about to launch, it is considered impolite to
ask "And if you fail?" You probably won't be flogged, maimed, or killed for
your temerity, but why risk it?
11. As soon as the evil lord has the hero in his power, seek the
nearest available escape route. The fewmets are about to hit the windmill.
12. Learn to distinguish Heroes from Sidekicks. Heroes are
usually taller and more somber, while Sidekicks dress with more flair and
tell more jokes. Taking on the Hero when you only have enough
manpower/firepower to take on the Sidekick will earn you an
all-expenses-paid trip on Stygian Cruise Lines.
13. Never allow yourself to be provoked into doing anything
stupid by insults from the Hero or Sidekicks.
14. No matter how attractive the captured heroine is or how
seductively she bats her eyes, she really does not want to sleep with you.
Do not unlock the cell door.
15. If the heroes give you a chance to surrender or flee, take it.
16. If you surrender to the Hero, don't try to stab him when his
back is turned; the Sidekick will get you first.
17. If the seemingly helpless person you have just cornered is
confident and unafraid despite being outnumbered and surrounded, you have
encountered a Hero in disguise. Run while you still can.
18. If the Hero you are sent after dresses entirely in black, he
is even more dangerous than the Evil Overlord suspects; double all
requisitions for men and firepower.
19. Practice your "accidental" sword/gun dropping technique.
It's the only thing that can save you when the hero is winning.
II. GUIDELINES FOR LEGION OF DOOM TROOPS:
1. Before performing guard duty, familiarize yourself with the
sound of a tossed pebble, and learn to avoid being distracted by it.
2. When performing guard duty, do not stare continually in one
direction, but take a moment now and then to look around.
3. When you are fighting intruders, do not fight them quietly,
but yell "Intruder!" while you still have breath.
4. When issued armor or uniforms that contrast with the service
environment, respectfully inquire after more sensibly-colored attire.
5. Get plenty of firearms practice.
6. Don't attack the hero alone or in pairs. The Evil Overlord
hired a million of you for a reason.
7. Never be the first one to charge the hero.
8. Exercise care in the abuse of oppressed peoples. Many farm
implements make effective weapons in the hands of a skilled opponent. Some
of those little old men can teach you a thing or two about hand-to-hand,
III. TIPS FOR EVIL CULT MEMBERS:
1. Pick one faith and stay with it. Dilettantism is the mark of
2. Familiarize yourself with the specifications for sacrificial
victims, and ensure that unacceptable substitutes cannot be unexpectedly
introduced into the ceremony. If the penalty for not-to-specs work is death
and/or mutilation, consider working for a more fault-tolerant deity.
3. Avoid needless embarrassment. Practice the correct
pronunciation of your deity's name in the privacy of your own room before
chanting it in public. Flash cards are often helpful.
4. Before agreeing to impregnation by a supernatural being,
investigate the survival rate of the other women who have undergone the
5. Never invoke anything bigger than your head.
6. Eschew deities whose followers are all young; such faith
groups usually employ an unpleasant retirement procedure.
7. Avoid all cabalistic jewelry over ten pounds in weight-it
attracts unwelcome attention from tourists, policemen, various supernatural
creatures, and can be downright dangerous during thunderstorms. Its jingling
also tends to warn the hero of your approach. It also makes you resemble
Mr. T, and nobody wants to join a religion he belongs to.
8. Citronella candles may not be used in rituals. I cannot
stress this enough. Pastel colored candles in the shape of cute animals are
like direct sunlight to the Powers of Darkness.
9. If the spirit contacted during a seance begins offering
financial advice, you're dealing with a con artist, and not a genuine
10. Always keep your kit with you: candles, chalk, incense,
silver knife, Thuggee cord, service revolver, garlic, Yellow Sign, cab fare,
11. Flourescent lighting is very annoying to most netherworldly creatures.
12. When the Black Mass goes awry, stay away from the Evil Priest.
Enraged demons always go for the pompous.
13. Followers who have a speech impediment should be excused
from speaking parts in any and all ceremonies. The mispronunciation of the
deity's name can have catastrophic effects.
14. Plan ahead by selecting ceremonial robes that are easy to
run in while still affording ample concealment.
15. If the ritual site has some strange powder sprinkled around
that wasn't there the last time, postpone all ceremonies until the site is
16. When a religious artifact begins emitting light, CLOSE YOUR EYES.
Thousands of cult members could be saved every year if they
followed this simple safety tip.
17. When mutilating cattle, avoid the ones with testicles.
18. During ritual sacrificing, taking bits home for later is now
generally considered "bad form."
19. Blood tests are now required for all sacrificial victims
before the ritual. The effects of HIV+ offerings on the average malefic
deity have never been witnessed by anyone living, or even intact.
20. Contrary to historical belief, drugs and invocations do not mix.
When the ritual goes awry, it is vitally necessary to be
able to discern between the gibbering monstrosity to pump full of silver
bullets and the gibbering monstrosity that will fade away after a few hours,
some B complex, and a good hot bath.
21. Never play strip Tarot.
22. Piety and belief are powerful things, and few forces in
nature, can stand against one who is true to his faith, his god/goddess, and
the deal made in exchange for the soul. However, it is also true that gods
tend to side with the heaviest artillery, so be prepared to change sides at
the drop of a hat.
23. For those situations where a fresh, living, sacrifice is not
available, the lower ranks of demons can be fooled by microwaving a
previously frozen chunk of ex-victim and cleverly jiggling it. However, a
mock victim sculpted from SPAM is right out.
IV. TIPS FOR THE EVIL OVERLORD'S WICKED BUT BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTER:
1. Find out all those lovely little family secrets so that the
Hero can never spring them on you.
2. Do not fall in love with the Hero.
3. If you do fall in love with the Hero, and decide to help
him, do not declare your intentions to Daddy. Daddy will clap you in irons,
pending your execution. The Hero will rescue you, but having to be rescued
4. If the Hero takes you to his secret base, and once there
tells all about his plans, smile sweetly, leave, and find another man; this
Hero is obviously so stupid he will not be around for very long.
5. If any of Daddy's Evil Henchmen try to make a move on you,
at least maim them. While the encounter might be interesting, it would set a
6. If you do fall in love with the Hero, and want him to love
you in return, do not use a drug concocted by a wizened old lady living on
the top of a mountain. If the hero is not blind, your natural charms will be
sufficient to win him over. If he does not, or prefers the One True Love,
then he obviously has rotten taste; find someone better.
7. Do not wear dresses with high, fan-like collars. Keep your
clothing to close-fitting, simple little numbers that allow you to turn your
head to see what is behind you. If you have to wear a dress with such a
collar, there is an arcane device called a "mirror" that allows you to see
8. Have some engineers install a hidden exit from the room
where Daddy imprisoned Mommy for the rest of her days after she displeased
9. Do not mistreat the populace. Let Daddy be the one to make
enemies of all the Heroes in the land.
10. If you have siblings, do not trust them. They'll only take
advantage of you. Of course if they're stupid enough to trust you, take
advantage of them.
11. If any of your siblings try to enlist your aid to overthrow
Daddy, smile, promise to think it over, and then turn them in. They're
either stupid (in which case the plot would certainly fail and you'll all
get caught), setting you up (in which case not turning them in is a very bad
idea), or they've turned Good (in which case life under the new regime would
12. Laugh at all of the Sidekick's jokes, no matter how lame
they are. That way when you pretend to fall for him he will be more
13. Rather than simply being an attractive stage prop, make sure
you know every detail of the running of the Evil Empire, so that if anything
unpleasant happens to Daddy, you will be able to take over with minimal
fuss. Then make sure that something unpleasant happens to Daddy.
14. If you cannot decided between sleeping with the Hero and
slowly roasting him alive, postpone dealing with him until you have
clarified your emotions.