The Evil Henchman's Guide

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 the vague phallic appearance of nuclear missiles is somehow a factor in their deployment. Nyah.

  1. 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 for it!

    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 off.

    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 Evil Overlord.

    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.

    20. When you have someone at gunpoint and that person says "you haven't got the guts to kill me," prove him/her wrong.

    21. The Evil Overlord will not risk his life to save yours. Why risk yours for him?

    22. If the Hero is using you as a human shield and the Evil Overlord asks you if the Doomsday Weapon is prepared, say "no."

    23. If the Evil Overlord orders you to kill some prisoners and then departs for business elsewhere, leave as quickly as possible; there is about to be a successful rescue attempt.

    24. Never wear gender-inappropriate underwear if swords are common. The Hero will slice your suspenders, causing your pants to fall and exposing you to ridicule.

    25. Never allow yourself to be turned into a vicious, ravening beast to defeat the Hero. It never works, and you girlfriend will not understand. She will dump you for one of the Good Guys.

    26. Never hold hostages at point blank range. Anyone quick enough to even back into the role of Hero can punch you out faster than you can pull the trigger.

    27. When disposing of bodies, dump them in the Evil Overlord's territory, and not in neighboring lands presently outside of his control.

  2. 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, too. And it would be just your luck for the villager you pick on to actually be the Hero masquerading as one of the villagers.

    9. Test your armor's ability to stop a minimum of one sword thrust or laser blast, and if it does not give at least this much protection, respectfully inquire after more.

    10. Make sure that your headgear allows for a useful field of vision.

    11. Remember that if the Hero and/or his comrades are being purposefully allowed to escape, there is no need for you to get killed in your effort to "prevent" the escape.

    12. If a prisoner suddenly takes ill, notify the Evil Overlord and await his instructions. Do not go into the cell to examine him/her yourself.

    13. If you're on patrol and your partner mysteriously disappears, call for backup before you go look for him.

  3. Tips for evil cult members:

    1. Pick one faith and stay with it. Dilettantism is the mark of an amateur.

    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 procedure.

    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.

    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 medium.

    10. Always keep your kit with you: candles, chalk, incense, silver knife, Thuggee cord, service revolver, garlic, Yellow Sign, cab fare, and change.

    11. Fluorescent 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 verified.

    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.

    24. Instead of picking human victims who are young, virginal and innocent (and tend to turn out to be the Hero's girlfriend), see if you can substitute mass murderers, lawyers, and other people who won't be missed.

  4. Tips for the Evil Overlord's Wicked but Beautiful Daughter:

    1. Make a point of finding 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 fall in love with the Hero, and decide to help him, do not declare your intentions to Daddy. He'll just clap you in irons, pending execution. Of course the Hero will rescue you, but that's demeaning.

    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, maim them at least. While the encounter might be interesting, it would set a bad precedent.

    6. If you fall in love with the Hero, and want him to return your affection, 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 prefers some tramp of a princess, then he obviously has rotten taste; find someone better.

    7. If you fall in love with the Hero, and learn that he has a True Love, carefully investigate the relationship. If she has never returned his affection, the position is still open to competition (but you have to work as the Hero's Sidekick for a while, first). If the True Love returns the Hero's affection, give it up. Especially, do not try to eliminate the True Love by killing her, framing her, or subverting her. You'll probably fail, be unmasked as the culprit, or both.

    8. Do not wear dresses with high, fan-like collars. Stick with close-fitting, simple little numbers that allow you to turn your head to see behind you. If for some reason you have to wear a dress with a high collar, there is an arcane device called a "mirror" that will help you watch your back.

    9. Have some engineers install a hidden exit from the room where Daddy imprisoned Mommy for the rest of her days after she displeased him.

    10. Do not mistreat the populace. Let Daddy be the one to make enemies of all the Heroes in the land.

    11. If you have siblings, do not trust them. They'll only use you shamelessly. Of course if they're stupid enough to trust you, use them shamelessly.

    12. If any of your siblings try to enlist your help to overthrow Daddy, smile, agree, and then turn them in. They're either stupid (in which case the plot would certainly fail and you'll 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 be boring).

    13. 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 easily fooled.

    14. Rather than simply being an attractive stage prop, make sure that you know every detail of the running of the Evil Empire, so that if anything unpleasant happens to Daddy, the transition of power will go smoothly. Then make sure that something unpleasant happens to Daddy.

    15. Make up your mind now whether you want to sleep with the Hero or slowly cut him into little pieces. Do not attempt the latter until you have given up on the former.

   The Evil Henchman's Guide is a cooperative effort between myself and Brian McGinty ( Other contributors include:

   The tips for Wicked but Beautiful Daughters of Evil Overlords are the work of these Adepts of Vixenhood:

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Copyright 1998 by John VanSickle. Permission to quote for non-commercial use is granted, provided that this copyright notice is included. All other rights reserved.

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