How to be a successful Evil Overlord
Could YOU be an Evil Overlord?
Are you a highly intelligent person who is OBVIOUSLY superior to everyone else? Do you harbor a secret hatred for most/all life forms other then yourself and those who can competently serve you (but have yet to find anyone that is actually competent)? Are you able to disguise your belief in your total superiority to achieve your nefarious goals? If so they YOU may be a perfect candidate for the position of Evil Overlord.
Before you begin planning for Total World Domination
If you believe you have what it takes to become an Evil Overlord there are a few steps you must take before you make and implement your diabolical plans for world domination.
You need to identify your family issues, why do you hate your mother or father? Your mommy or daddy issues are a weakness and must be overcome first. Lingering feelings of anger or hurt may cause you to hesitate during a critical moment and will be exploited by meddlesome hero wannabe's.
Come to terms with you emotional baggage and you will turn a weakness into a strength. Overcome any self esteem issues so that you do not 'need' anyone to recognize your superiority or fear you.
Identify all of your weaknesses and for those that cannot be overcome keep them a closely guarded secret and share with NO ONE! Your most trusted second in command will either be as evil as you and seek to supplant you or they will have a sudden change of heart and betray you. A decoy secret weakness that you allow to be 'discovered' may prove useful.
Your Evil Plan, the devil is in the details
When devising your evil plan there are no details beneath you, if a 5 year old can find a flaw in your plan a half backed hero will too. Yes, if you want something done right you must do it yourself, do not wait until your evil plan is just about to be foiled to figure this out!
Be clear about your goals. Are you out to rule the world or destroy it? Failing to be clear with yourself on goals will lead to failure, know what you want and why. Consider your options once you are clear on your goal, will tempering your diabolical strategy with occasional virtue mask you true evil intent aid you in achieving your goal? While people should fear you do you really want them to know that?
You may need to employ minions, henchmen and advisors, they will be incompetent and will eventually fail you. Be clear on your instructions for them and try not to overreact for minor failings. Offering a good health plan or support for their families should they die in service to you will keep your minions loyal to you. Your minions and henchmen need to have a clear and concise handbook to study when they begin serving you, they should be trained to identify mysterious disappearances, noises and suspicious characters as probable intruders and raise the alarm before going after said intruders.
If your plan hinges on you obtaining some secret weapon, magic amulet or other artifact do not allow it to be known what this object is, rather arrange for a decoy object to be sought by your minions. When you obtain your object of power do not keep it in your secret lair, find a less obvious and secure to stash it until its needed, a bank safe deposit box makes a good secure place to hide a object of power. Hide your decoy object of power in your secret lair, it will buy you time when the hero gets the upper hand and goes after your object of power, be sure to booby trap it, its unlikely but may just kill off annoying heros.
Your evil fortress needs to be well built with no secret entrances. Not to say that it can't appear to have a secret entrance, but you must know of all ways in and out. Know the exact layout of every inch of your secret lair. Work stations should not face away from entrances to that room. Have lots of prison cells, you do not want two crafty hero's planning their escape from the same cell. Have a different key for each cell, one key for all cells is just stupid! If one prisoner escapes at least the other prisoners cannot easily also be freed. If you knowingly capture a hero kill them, do not imprison them unless you need them to escape in order to follow them to a real threat against your evil plan.
Know Your Enemies.
Understand that enemies will come from unexpected places. Your family will betray you so be prepared to kill or sacrifice them. If you do not kill them straight away do not let them know you are prepared to kill or sacrifice them. Do not imprison siblings, make them allies or kill them. An imprisoned sibling will be rescued and join forces with your enemies, the hero's. Just because your sibling is willing to be an ally does not mean they will not betray you later so keep a close eye on them and kill them at the first sign of independent thought. Trusting your siblings is more dangerous them trusting a minion, you may spare a minion when they fail you but a sibling must be killed for failure.
The son or daughter of some peasant you murder is likely to grow up to become a hero and your enemy. If you cannot avoid killing some peasant be sure you do not leave anyone behind who might try to get revenge in a few years. If you are unable to kill the infant child of an adversary take them with you and research why your attempt to kill the infant did not work, find a way to ensure they do die if not at your hands then at the hands of your most morally depraved minion. If you leave the infant, they will be protected until they come of age and you will have already lost.