Zahir ibn Mahmoud ibn Jothan's page

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16. RPG Superstar 6 Season Dedicated Voter, 7 Season Marathon Voter, 8 Season Marathon Voter, 9 Season Marathon Voter. Organized Play Member. 2,456 posts (18,532 including aliases). 22 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 12 Organized Play characters. 32 aliases.


Full Name

Tripp Elliott

Race

Human

Classes/Levels

Gamer 4/Engineer (Safety) 8

Gender

Male

Size

Hefty

Age

47

Special Abilities

Sarcasm (Ex)

Alignment

CG

Deity

Roger Staubach

Location

Virginia

Languages

English, Spanish, Pig-Latin

Occupation

Safety Engineer and Father

Strength 12
Dexterity 8
Constitution 13
Intelligence 12
Wisdom 12
Charisma 11

About Zahir ibn Mahmoud ibn Jothan

RPG Superstar 2014

Round 3 Menkaure's Zombinarium
Round 2 Grymp
Round 1 Bosun's Call

RPG credits & accomplishments:

RPG Superstar 2014: Top 16
Daughters of Fury: Contributor

200 RPG Rules to Live By:

1. Doing ANYTHING in a dungeon can get you killed. This includes doing nothing. Therefore, act. Tis better to die daring awesomely.
2. Never share a hiding spot with someone more foolish than thyself.
3. The easy way is trapped. The hard way is an ambush. The right way is hidden.
4. Levers are placed to be pulled.
5. Evil henchmen are often more potent combatants than their bosses. Be ready.
6. If the wizard dies with an uncast Fireball, he deserved it.
7. There is NEVER enough curative power.
8. Doors without traps lead to doors with them.
9. A fountain in a dungeon is a crapshoot.
10. Never trust a dead end.
11. Kill it first. That's what Raise Dead is for
12. When in a dungeon, NEVER let the DM think you're bored.
13. Whenever possible, do not have the slowest movement rate.
14. Posting a strong rear guard can deter the DM from attacking from the rear. This is not a waste. This is proper. If you don’t get attacked from behind, it was 100% worth it.
15. Always know which skill no one has, and be ready to depend on that skill.
16. When turned to stone, don’t panic. Monsters with petrification abilities come with Stone to Flesh items nine times out of ten.
17. Try to look unimportant, it might be low on ammo. If you’re the paladin, don’t b%@~!, you signed up for this.
18. Murphy was a fighter.
19. You’re playing D&D, not Marvel.
20. If it’s stupid and it works, it isn’t stupid.
21. The first time you drop your guard, the DM will teach you a lesson.
22. So what if you met in a bar 10 minutes ago, and now you’re already hired. Learn about your comrades’ strengths and weaknesses ASAP.
23. A comrade that stutters, hems, or haws trying to pinpoint their weaknesses can add “Doesn’t know when they’re screwed” to the list.
24. A character with no weaknesses isn’t really good at anything either.
25. The thief doesn’t complain when the fighter doesn’t help pick the lock, the fighter shouldn’t complain when the thief doesn’t enter melee.
26. HP and damage potential are independent attributes. Four giants at 3/4 HP do WAY more damage than 3 fully healthy giants. Gang up on bad guys, do not make it a fight from Big Trouble In Little China.
27. Trust your experts. Don’t get mad at the thief if he misses a trap, and he won’t get mad when the demon saves against your spell or the fighter gets mowed down.
28. You don’t need a body for resurrection, so don’t worry about leaving it behind.
29. Someone who ditches a group plan has signed up for whatever happens to them. Pay to have them raised, but don’t risk your neck for them.
30. When someone is getting themselves killed for something you screwed up on, suck it up and risk yours to get them out of it.
31. Never EVER EVER spend an action saying, “Go Team.” Watching for the impending second wave of baddies is a perfectly reasonable way to spend your time.
32. When the cleric says it’s time to stop, it’s time to stop. If the fighter says it’s time to stop, look at the healer for confirmation.
33. Communism and democracy gets a party killed. Situational Meritocracy gets you fortune and glory.
34. What the paladin doesn’t know can’t hurt him.
35. What the thief doesn’t know CAN hurt you.
36. Fighters get first dibs on tactical placement.
37. Never lie during triage.
38. If you decide to rest after you’ve run out of spells, you’re too late.
39. When the fighter yells for you to cast the fireball, listen. When the wizard tells you you’re going to get yourself killed, you listen. When the cleric flees you follow. When the thief gets killed by a trap, go get another thief before continuing.
40. Fighters are a wizard’s second best armor. Clerics are the best.
41. Spells should neither be whored nor hoarded.
42. What good is the reward if you aren’t around to use it?
43. Just because your cover is blown, charging isn’t plan B.
44. You’ll only ruin the game by turning in the thief for contacting the guild.
45. Listen when you’re not in charge, and lead when you are.
46. Portable Hole plus ballista equals success. See #20.
47. Always know which side the hinges are on.
48. ALWAYS listen after tampering with the door.
49. People can miss obvious sights, or shrug off noise, but scent is never missed.
50. The Atreides had a battle language, so should you.
51. Treasure can be used right away.
52. It costs five copper pieces to shoot an exploratory arrow into the darkness, and five hundred thousand copper pieces to get your Troubleshooter raised from the dead.
53. Know who your DM’s favorite D&D writer is and plan accordingly.
54. Female NPCs with names are suspect. Never score on a named NPC.
55. It’s always an inside job. When it’s not, the BBEG is a higher level than you.
56. Nine times out of ten when the DM wants to know your HP total, he’ll pull his punches. When he never asks, he doesn’t care if your character dies, act accordingly.
57. “Rush In and Act Accordingly” only works when you trust your teammates.
58. Dicing for mutually desired items leads to semi-content parties with less than optimal power. Voting to place the items leads to optimally powered, temporarily less than happy members (minus one). Pick one.
59. Always have enough to get your sorry butt raised, and make sure your party-mates know where that stash is.
60. Always know how many charges are left in the wand of curing, even if you’re not the cleric.
61. If the thief introduces himself with an alias, go along with it!
62. Unless you’re a paladin, when the thief introduces YOU with an alias, go along with it.
63. It’s okay to get screwed for not knowing the game setting, but keep your complaints to yourself starting with the second offense.
64. When stocking up, assume every dungeon has a rust monster, a troll, a doppelganger, an incorporeal creature, and SWARMS.
65. It doesn’t matter what edition you’re playing, going down stairs ups the ante.
66. Double doors guard things with more HP than single doors. As a corollary, the square footage of a door is directly proportional to the XP value of the thing behind the door.
67. The player who can name the campaign specific names for various coins gets first dibs on being the bard.
68. Two bards is a waste. I don’t care how different their feat selection is.
69. Two fighters are never a waste, but always use different primary weapons.
70. All other things being equal, enhance your character’s strengths before plugging up your weaknesses.
71. Just because rogues no longer get bonus XP for liberating treasure, and fighters per HD, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to stop playing that way.
72. Assuming people are basically good is asking for it. People by default are neutral.
73. Read the description for Diplomacy. Nowhere does it describe the powers of Bluff, Charm Person, Suggestion, Savoir-Faire, or Fast-talking. Don’t complain when the DM doesn’t let you get away with it.
74. Dragons are dangerous from the day they hatch.
75. A wizard who resorts to melee does so because that’s how they want people to remember how they died.
76. Assuming that every monster in the dungeon was meant for you to kill it is suicide. Sometimes you’re supposed to run away.
77. The party’s strategist may not be the party’s tactician. Any class can handle these jobs, don’t be cliché about this.
78. Even the A-Team accepted the reward. Take it.
79. Don’t make a pacifist character. It’s D&D. Fighting happens. Pacifism is for NPCs.
80. The time to fall back for healing is never lower than 1/3 power. Don’t wait until you’re almost dead, as it’ll become a cycle; heal, get hit, heal, get hit.
81. It’s only worth missing a round to get healed if you’re going to get healed for more damage than you take in 1 round.
82. If the wizard needs to fall back, it’s because everyone else is dead, or the wizard is executing #75.
83. No matter your class, always have a light slashing weapon ready for use.
84. Captain Kirk used red shirts, so should you.
85. If you can’t sum up your character in a single paragraph, he’s too complicated.
86. Everyone in the party should have a common language beyond simply Common.
87. Know your DM. Learn to tell when he’s throwing you a bone, and run with it.
88. “The natural cavern leads off into darkness” is typically DM-speak for, “This cavern isn’t part of the adventure, but is there in case I want to build on it later. Please don’t go down there, because I’ll have to wing it.”
89. Your cohort is never more valuable than another PC. Your followers are never more important than a comrade’s cohort.
90. It is, in fact, possible to “win” at D&D. A character who is the subject of nostalgic gaming stories long after a campaign has ended has “won” D&D.
91. If your DM uses plastic minis, but slaps down a hand-painted metal mini, treat it with suspicion and caution.
92. If you tell the party to “trust you”, then don’t let them down. If you do let them down, don’t be surprised if they don’t go with it next time you ask.
93. The DM’s love of the campaign world is directly proportionate to the level of motivation he has for a campaign with in it, and inversely proportional to the patience he has for people being ignorant of it.
94. The more proper nouns that appear in your character’s back-story, the more permission you’re giving the DM to mess with it during the campaign.
95. There’s nothing childish about a character whose motivations include power, riches, and fame. In fact, be honest with yourself, at some level isn’t that your own motivation with your character?
96. Multiple wizards in a party are like a sports team (or the X-Men arcade game). You need to “call the ball”. Don’t both of you waste your best spells at the same time. Alternate so as to maintain your level of firepower (See #41).
97. You might think it’s cool to keep your prepared spells a secret until the party sees you cast them, but it’s even cooler if they can plan around your selection. If there are two casters in the party, talk to each other when planning the day’s spells so as to not create a surplus or scarcity of certain effects.
98. If your DM wants to know which party member is carrying the map, the answer is always plural. (And it’s a good bet he’s the kind of dungeon master that will keep track of food, so be ready.)
99. The player that still uses the level titles (e.g. Veteran, Cutpurse, Deacon, etc.) gets first dibs on playing the thief (and trust me, they’ll call it thief not rogue.) They’re by far the most paranoid player in a dungeon, and likely the one most highly trained at recognizing highly probable places for traps.
100. It’s okay to let the DM know you’re bored when in town (See #4). But before you do, make sure you’re armed and ready.
101. If the DM asks you if you say or read something out loud, the answer is always no.
102. If you meet an NPC in a session with a proper name, be courteous and learn it.
103. If the same NPC appears in another adventure, be smart and learn as much as you can about them.
104. If the same NPC appears in another story arc, be wise and prepare to fight him to the death.
105. Don’t name your character after a famous person/character within the game, it’s distracting and will lead to jokes that break the suspension of disbelieve, which in turn will garner you less sympathy from the DM when you mess up.
106. Never cite The Lord of the Rings as justification for an argument for why something should work, and maybe, just maybe, the DM won’t cite Alien for the same reason.
107. Female NPCs exhibit a parabolic relationship with their comeliness score and their importance. If comeliness is 3 or 18, then pay attention to what she says.
108. If there’s a psionic party member, you can be sure there will be psionic baddies.
109. Assume every dungeon has an underground lake and a river of lava. Trust me, it’s better that way.
110. Unless you’re pressed for time, look for its lair, even if it’s a wandering monster.
111. Sometimes treasure is hidden in the stomach, the tauntaun treasure chest must not be overlooked.
112. You know what psych majors learn in college? Stereotypes are usually true.
113. There’s no such thing as an underground lake without a carnivorous creature in it. See #109
114. No it’s not good role-playing to run an evil character in a group with a paladin. It’s asking for angst that D&D is designed to provide escape from.
115. Never argue physics with the DM. It’s not worth the retribution, and you can never win an argument when the rebuttal can justifiably be “Magic!”
116. Plan C should never be “Every man for himself.”
117. Don’t freak out if the party rogue is neutral. Remember #72.
118. Never assume the BBEG is like a James Bond BBEG. Assume you’ll be killed quickly, efficiently and without warning.
119. Before play begins, find out what skill the DM says is relevant to determining success in the Indiana Jones, “gold idol – bag of sand” switch.
120. Never ever complain your way out of character death. It’s unmanly and you’ll embarrass yourself. If you’ve got a solid logical reason, give it. Once.
121. It’s D&D, “Because he’s evil” is always acceptable.
122. Before you draw from that Deck of Many Things, decide your drawing limit and stick to it.
123. If you’re playing 3rd edition, and you find a lone kobold, it’s obviously a high level sorcerer. If someone laughs at you for making that assumption, let them make theirs next time. If you’re playing older editions, that kobold is bait.
124. If you can’t solve the puzzle in 5 minutes of real game time, break it.
125. If attacked by ninjas, remember the power of a ninja is inversely proportionate to the number of ninjas involved in the fight. Ten ninjas are fodder, but a lone ninja will kick your butt. This goes for psionic characters too.
126. Playing a character of the exact opposite of the stereotype is also a stereotype.
127. Unless the DM forbids it, during character creation talk to the other players, otherwise don’t complain when the characters are hopelessly incompatible or everyone’s a fighter.
128. Default template for single file marching order is, in order of front to back, Troubleshooter, fighter, wizard, cleric. Always leave 5' of space between
129. There’s nothing wrong with making requests of the spell-casters for what spells to prepare for the day. Just like there’s nothing wrong with saying “no” to those requests.
130. Always carry a missile weapon. Unless your class prohibits you from using it, use it.
131. Before you do something REALLY stupid, make sure you know the DM’s policy on Atonement.
132. Burned out Ioun Stone + Continual Flame = best torch ever.
133. If you’re a middle level fighting class (cleric, druid, etc.) don’t rush in on round 1. Doing so will annoy the fighters trying to execute #36, and you’ll end up needing to use more curative magic. Round 1 is a buffing and assessment round for you.
134. Monk + Silence = premier anti-caster tactic.
135. Know when to retreat, and know which characters in the party would rather die than do so.
136. Once fireballs are added to the mix, the city watch doesn’t care who started it.
137. Behold the power of the Cantrip: Ghost Sound can save your butt against dumb giants, and Mending can redo the seal on the royal letter you stole.
138. If the reward seems too good to be true, be prepared for a double cross. This doesn’t mean don’t take the contract, it just means be ready to fight the person who gave it to you.
139. Whenever possible, use cover and concealment.
140. Flanking is key. Do it, and don’t let it happen to you. When moving to flank, the melee-tank-anchor should arrive before the sneak-attacker.
141. Decide to be aggressive enough, quickly enough. Better to have overkill than be killed.
142. Unless the details of your class require you to honor last requests, don’t.
143. After having finally slain the BBEG, take the precautions necessary, using whatever books the DM allows, to ensure that he cannot be True Resurrected.
144. When entering combat with a truly dangerous foe, don’t save your most powerful spells for “just in case”. Use them first.
145. Unless you have some kind of trump card, resist any and all urges to do melee battle with anyone on a ledge.
146. If you wipe the floor with the first wave of baddies, assume the next wave is going to be the toughest. The instant you have determined the level of toughness, first hand, of the next wave, be ready with #144.
147. It’s D&D, the moral implications concerning bribery are relevant to the mark, not the PC. Bribery is as valid a tactic as intimidation.
148. Magic items in which the word “of” appears two or more times will invariably become either a plot device or a homing beacon for trouble. Be prepared.
149. Monks will never be as good at melee as fighters or as sneaky as rogues. Monks are a “variable support class” They make excellent wing man melee fighters, and wing man rogues.
150. If you have a familiar, keep it in mind at all times. Otherwise you’ll have no recourse when it’s time to rely on it and the DM says Fido’s still back in town.
151. If you suspect a character has been replaced by a doppelganger, ask them to let you cast sleep on them. If it doesn’t work, they’re either an elf-blooded PC or a doppelganger.
152. If the DM asks if you’re setting watch, the answer is always yes.
153. Whenever reasonable, make the baddies come to you as you rain missile fire on them.
154. If you prepare spells, it’s worth it to have a “default non-adventuring day” list of prepared spells, so when the DM springs the adventure hook on you, you’re not caught with your pants down.
155. You should always know how each person in the party would answer the question, “You’re lost in the desert and the water supply is dwindling, how should you split it?”
156. If the DM forgets to include a penalty you’re suffering from, point it out. If he doesn’t return the favor, then stop. Immediately.
157. Take notes at the table. If you recall the name, race, and nationality of an NPC, it shows the DM that you care about the hours he put in on making the adventure. It may come up in rewarding you later. It’s also good gaming.
158. If your character can’t swim because of encumbrance, then you need a solution that will protect you from drowning. You need this before you approach anything wet.
159. If the DM takes the time to describe a new pattern of floor tiling, do not advance until the troubleshooter gives the go ahead.
160. Everyone in the party should know who the fastest talker is, the best diplomat, and the most intimating member. Don’t use numbers at the table, but know who each is.
161. The order of operations is always Diplomacy, Bluff, then intimidate. Never reverse these.
162. There should never be any excess space in an extra-dimensional storage container. If you’re successful enough to have one, you’re wealthy enough to fill remaining space with food and water (and ammo). As space is needed, ditch the ammo, food, and water.
163. Scouts should always return to the group for planning, never should the group advance to the scout.
164. The place to plan is never close enough that a double move will bring the enemy within their striking distance.
165. If the DM ever needs to vividly describe the specific actions of a trap, you must assume that they are using something more than the DMG for their traps. This brings a requirement of checking for traps immediately after disabling the obvious trap. If you see a "Grimtooth" trap book, GET A THIEF.
166. Choose your attacks wisely. It might seem like a good idea to hit a melee monster with a physically devastating spell, but it likely won’t work. Blast the slow tanks, manipulate the weak willed, and debilitate the weak bodied.
167. The fact that Undectable Alignment is still a Paladin spell should give a clue as to what a Paladin is actually allowed to do. Nowhere does it say that the Code requires you to wear a neon sign that says, “I’m a paladin and I will judge you!”
168. Defense will only protect you, for a time, from defeat. It takes offense to actually conquer a foe.
169. The cheapest item in the PHB is a mundane item with the following abilities: potential circumstance bonus when used for nose plugs or earplugs, works as a timer for anything up to an hour, can check for air currents, can be a minor decoy, can make subtle markings on a wall to indicate exploration progress, and sheds a weak light. It weighs virtually nothing, so even the wizard can carry some. It’s called a “candle.”
170. Just because it’s gone from the game, doesn’t mean there’s no longer a need for bending bars and lifting gates. Make sure you have this covered. It’ll make your DM happy if you know what the best result a party can muster is on taking 20 for a STR check.
171. Always know how you’re going to spend a turn before your name is called to act. It keeps the game smooth, and encourages others to do the same. Your DM will thank you, and you’ll come off as having a more confident character.
172. Never split the party. Just don't do it.
173. If you are paired up. Never leave your wingman. Do Not Leave Your Wingman.
174. Know they escape route.
175. Every party should have a policy on when it's time to make a last stand.
176. If you can pull off an ambush, hold the line until the enemy is within melee range. Shooting a target from far way isn't an ambush.
177. Never ford a river at the ford.
178. When the plan goes wrong, go back to the beginning (or some other clearly designated point.
179. Never return from the dungeon the way you went in. Foolish is the bandit who attacks the party prepped to kill them all and let Heironeous sort them out. Wise is the bandit who attacks the resource depleted, treasure laden party.
180. Attack HVTs first. These are the blasters and characters with Save or Die abilities. (piles of easily fireballed minions not withstanding.)
181. If your character has a schtick, know they rules. Expect to be called upon to show the sourcebook. Have page numbers ready.
182. Thou shall not sunder treasure. If you're playing in an organized game, this does not apply.
183. Do not look down upon mundane equipment. Keep pitons, flour, and empty sacks on hand.
184. It is okay to tease someone at the table. It is not okay to tease them such that their fun is lessened.
185. Read the fluff first, and the crunch second. It's poor gaming to take a class, especially a prestige class based solely on crunch.
186. Pay attention even to trifles. This includes casting times, numbers of targets you can affect.
187. Even if the DM doesn't do it, pay attention to ammo.
188. Roll all your dice at once. Miss chances, attack and damage. This is more efficient. If you miss due to concealment, you can save time on the math.
189. Do NOT roll all of your attacks on a full attack at once. Your 5' step could be life and death. Use it appropriately, redirect your attacks as the situation demands.
190. Know which rules are often misapplied. You don't need to memorize them (though you should) but you do need to know where to find them.
191. Remember, in a no holds barred contest Batman bested Superman.
192. It is okay to think in terms of aggro, DPS, Uber. It is not okay to use these at the table. Ever.
193. Never keep a side mission a secret from your party unless ordered to do so.
194. Know thyself. Inside and out. Be familiar with your abilities, equipment, and spells. Prepare. Use note cards. The player with an entirely different sheet for their raging barbarian knows what's up.
195. Embrace the abstraction. An unexpected plan can surprise the DM forcing him to wing it. You have the advantage. Here is where you reap the rewards from #87 and most definitely #93.
196. Immerse yourself ahead of time. Playing a primitive fighter? Read some Robert Howard. Thief? Read Gord the Rogue. This will give you the language, attitude and aura of the character you're playing. Your newfound adjectives will increase everyone's enjoyment.
197. Beware of symmetrical dungeon levels. These contain Very Bad Things.
198. Beware of almost symmetrical dungeon levels. There's a secret door.
199. When expecting trouble it is not a waste to buff ahead of time. A 10 Round Bless cast 4 rounds too early is still 7 rounds of benefit. Six with the spell, and one where you didn't have to cast it.
200. Knowledge is power. Invest and use knowledge skills. If you have a regular party, spread the wealth. Ignorance is a choice. Don't make it.

The Top 100 Things I'd Do If I Ever Became An Evil Overlord:

1. My Legions of Terror will have helmets with clear plexiglass visors, not face-concealing ones.
2. My ventilation ducts will be too small to crawl through.
3. My noble half-brother whose throne I usurped will be killed, not kept anonymously imprisoned in a forgotten cell of my dungeon.
4. Shooting is not too good for my enemies.
5. The artifact which is the source of my power will not be kept on the Mountain of Despair beyond the River of Fire guarded by the Dragons of Eternity. It will be in my safe-deposit box. The same applies to the object which is my one weakness.
6. I will not gloat over my enemies' predicament before killing them.
7. 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. No, on second thought I'll shoot him then say "No."
8. After I kidnap the beautiful princess, we will be married immediately in a quiet civil ceremony, not a lavish spectacle in three weeks' time during which the final phase of my plan will be carried out.
9. I will not include a self-destruct mechanism unless absolutely necessary. If it is necessary, it will not be a large red button labelled "Danger: Do Not Push". The big red button marked "Do Not Push" will instead trigger a spray of bullets on anyone stupid enough to disregard it. Similarly, the ON/OFF switch will not clearly be labelled as such.
10. I will not interrogate my enemies in the inner sanctum -- a small hotel well outside my borders will work just as well.
11. I will be secure in my superiority. Therefore, I will feel no need to prove it by leaving clues in the form of riddles or leaving my weaker enemies alive to show they pose no threat.
12. One of my advisors will be an average five-year-old child. Any flaws in my plan that he is able to spot will be corrected before implementation.
13. 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.
14. The hero is not entitled to a last kiss, a last cigarette, or any other form of last request.
15. 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.
16. I will never utter the sentence "But before I kill you, there's just one thing I want to know."
17. When I employ people as advisors, I will occasionally listen to their advice.
18. 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.
19. 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.
20. 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.
21. 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 stormtroopers, Roman footsoldiers, or savage Mongol hordes. All were eventually defeated and I want my troops to have a more positive mind-set.
22. No matter how tempted I am with the prospect of unlimited power, I will not consume any energy field bigger than my head.
23. 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.
24. 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.)
25. 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.
26. No matter how attractive certain members of the rebellion are, there is probably someone just as attractive who is not desperate to kill me. Therefore, I will think twice before ordering a prisoner sent to my bedchamber.
27. I will never build only one of anything important. All important systems will have redundant control panels and power supplies. For the same reason I will always carry at least two fully loaded weapons at all times.
28. My pet monster will be kept in a secure cage from which it cannot escape and into which I could not accidentally stumble.
29. I will dress in bright and cheery colors, and so throw my enemies into confusion.
30. All bumbling conjurers, clumsy squires, no-talent bards, and cowardly thieves in the land will be preemptively put to death. My foes will surely give up and abandon their quest if they have no source of comic relief.
31. All naive, busty tavern wenches in my realm will be replaced with surly, world-weary waitresses who will provide no unexpected reinforcement and/or romantic subplot for the hero or his sidekick.
32. I will not fly into a rage and kill a messenger who brings me bad news just to illustrate how evil I really am. Good messengers are hard to come by.
33. I won't require high-ranking female members of my organization to wear a stainless-steel bustier. Morale is better with a more casual dress-code. Similarly, outfits made entirely from black leather will be reserved for formal occasions.
34. I will not turn into a snake. It never helps.
35. 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.
36. 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.
37. If my trusted lieutenant tells me my Legions of Terror are losing a battle, I will believe him. After all, he's my trusted lieutenant.
38. If an enemy I have just killed has a younger sibling or offspring anywhere, I will find them and have them killed immediately, instead of waiting for them to grow up harboring feelings of vengeance towards me in my old age.
39. If I absolutely must ride into battle, I will certainly not ride at the forefront of my Legions of Terror, nor will I seek out my opposite number among his army.
40. I will be neither chivalrous nor sporting. If I have an unstoppable superweapon, I will use it as early and as often as possible instead of keeping it in reserve.
41. Once my power is secure, I will destroy all those pesky time-travel devices.
42. When I capture the hero, I will make sure I also get his dog, monkey, ferret, or whatever sickeningly cute little animal capable of untying ropes and filching keys happens to follow him around.
43. I will maintain a healthy amount of skepticism when I capture the beautiful rebel and she claims she is attracted to my power and good looks and will gladly betray her companions if I just let her in on my plans.
44. 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.
45. 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 underling.
46. 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.
47. 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.
48. I will treat any beast which I control through magic or technology with respect and kindness. Thus if the control is ever broken, it will not immediately come after me for revenge.
49. 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.
50. My main computers will have their own special operating system that will be completely incompatible with standard IBM and Macintosh powerbooks.
51. If one of my dungeon guards begins expressing concern over the conditions in the beautiful princess' cell, I will immediately transfer him to a less people-oriented position.
52. I will hire a team of board-certified architects and surveyors to examine my castle and inform me of any secret passages and abandoned tunnels that I might not know about.
53. If the beautiful princess that I capture says "I'll never marry you! Never, do you hear me, NEVER!!!", I will say "Oh well" and kill her.
54. I will not strike a bargain with a demonic being then attempt to double-cross it simply because I feel like being contrary.
55. The deformed mutants and odd-ball psychotics will have their place in my Legions of Terror. However before I send them out on important covert missions that require tact and subtlety, I will first see if there is anyone else equally qualified who would attract less attention.
56. My Legions of Terror will be trained in basic marksmanship. Any who cannot learn to hit a man-sized target at 10 meters will be used for target practice.
57. Before employing any captured artifacts or machinery, I will carefully read the owner's manual.
58. If it becomes necessary to escape, I will never stop to pose dramatically and toss off a one-liner.
59. I will never build a sentient computer smarter than I am.
60. My five-year-old child advisor will also be asked to decipher any code I am thinking of using. If he breaks the code in under 30 seconds, it will not be used. Note: this also applies to passwords.
61. If my advisors ask "Why are you risking everything on such a mad scheme?", I will not proceed until I have a response that satisfies them.
62. I will design fortress hallways with no alcoves or protruding structural supports which intruders could use for cover in a firefight.
63. Bulk trash will be disposed of in incinerators, not compactors. And they will be kept hot, with none of that nonsense about flames going through accessible tunnels at predictable intervals.
64. I will see a competent psychiatrist and get cured of all extremely unusual phobias and bizarre compulsive habits which could prove to be a disadvantage.
65. If I must have computer systems with publically available terminals, the maps they display of my complex will have a room clearly marked as the Main Control Room. That room will be the Execution Chamber. The actual main control room will be marked as Sewage Overflow Containment.
66. My security keypad will actually be a fingerprint scanner. Anyone who watches someone press a sequence of buttons or dusts the pad for fingerprints then subsequently tries to enter by repeating that sequence will trigger the alarm system.
67. No matter how many shorts we have in the system, my guards will be instructed to treat every surveillance camera malfunction as a full-scale emergency.
68. I will spare someone who saved my life sometime in the past. This is only reasonable as it encourages others to do so. However, the offer is good one time only. If they want me to spare them again, they'd better save my life again.
69. All midwives will be banned from the realm. All babies will be delivered at state-approved hospitals. Orphans will be placed in foster-homes, not abandoned in the woods to be raised by creatures of the wild.
70. When my guards split up to search for intruders, they will always travel in groups of at least two. They will be trained so that if one of them disappears mysteriously while on patrol, the other will immediately initiate an alert and call for backup, instead of quizzically peering around a corner.
71. If I decide to test a lieutenant's loyalty and see if he/she should be made a trusted lieutenant, I will have a crack squad of marksmen standing by in case the answer is no.
72. If all the heroes are standing together around a strange device and begin to taunt me, I will pull out a conventional weapon instead of using my unstoppable superweapon on them.
73. I will not agree to let the heroes go free if they win a rigged contest, even though my advisors assure me it is impossible for them to win.
74. When I create a multimedia presentation of my plan designed so that my five-year-old advisor can easily understand the details, I will not label the disk "Project Overlord" and leave it lying on top of my desk.
75. I will instruct my Legions of Terror to attack the hero en masse, instead of standing around waiting while members break off and attack one or two at a time.
76. If the hero runs up to my roof, I will not run up after him and struggle with him in an attempt to push him over the edge. I will also not engage him at the edge of a cliff. (In the middle of a rope-bridge over a river of molten lava is not even worth considering.)
77. If I have a fit of temporary insanity and decide to give the hero the chance to reject a job as my trusted lieutentant, I will retain enough sanity to wait until my current trusted lieutenant is out of earshot before making the offer.
78. I will not tell my Legions of Terror "And he must be taken alive!" The command will be "And try to take him alive if it is reasonably practical."
79. If my doomsday device happens to come with a reverse switch, as soon as it has been employed it will be melted down and made into limited-edition commemorative coins.
80. If my weakest troops fail to eliminate a hero, I will send out my best troops instead of wasting time with progressively stronger ones as he gets closer and closer to my fortress.
81. If I am fighting with the hero atop a moving platform, have disarmed him, and am about to finish him off and he glances behind me and drops flat, I too will drop flat instead of quizzically turning around to find out what he saw.
82. I will not shoot at any of my enemies if they are standing in front of the crucial support beam to a heavy, dangerous, unbalanced structure.
83. If I'm eating dinner with the hero, put poison in his goblet, then have to leave the table for any reason, I will order new drinks for both of us instead of trying to decide whether or not to switch with him.
84. I will not have captives of one sex guarded by members of the opposite sex.
85. I will not use any plan in which the final step is horribly complicated, e.g. "Align the 12 Stones of Power on the sacred altar then activate the medallion at the moment of total eclipse." Instead it will be more along the lines of "Push the button."
86. I will make sure that my doomsday device is up to code and properly grounded.
87. My vats of hazardous chemicals will be covered when not in use. Also, I will not construct walkways above them.
88. If a group of henchmen fail miserably at a task, I will not berate them for incompetence then send the same group out to try the task again.
89. After I captures the hero's superweapon, I will not immediately disband my legions and relax my guard because I believe whoever holds the weapon is unstoppable. After all, the hero held the weapon and I took it from him.
90. I will not design my Main Control Room so that every workstation is facing away from the door.
91. I will not ignore the messenger that stumbles in exhausted and obviously agitated until my personal grooming or current entertainment is finished. It might actually be important.
92. If I ever talk to the hero on the phone, I will not taunt him. Instead I will say this his dogged perseverance has given me new insight on the futility of my evil ways and that if he leaves me alone for a few months of quiet contemplation I will likely return to the path of righteousness. (Heroes are incredibly gullible in this regard.)
93. If I decide to hold a double execution of the hero and an underling who failed or betrayed me, I will see to it that the hero is scheduled to go first.
94. When arresting prisoners, my guards will not allow them to stop and grab a useless trinket of purely sentimental value.
95. My dungeon will have its own qualified medical staff complete with bodyguards. That way if a prisoner becomes sick and his cellmate tells the guard it's an emergency, the guard will fetch a trauma team instead of opening up the cell for a look.
96. My door mechanisms will be designed so that blasting the control panel on the outside seals the door and blasting the control panel on the inside opens the door, not vice versa.
97. My dungeon cells will not be furnished with objects that contain reflective surfaces or anything that can be unravelled.
98. If an attractive young couple enters my realm, I will carefully monitor their activities. If I find they are happy and affectionate, I will ignore them. However if circumstance have forced them together against their will and they spend all their time bickering and criticizing each other except during the intermittent occasions when they are saving each others' lives at which point there are hints of sexual tension, I will immediately order their execution.
99. Any data file of crucial importance will be padded to 1.45Mb in size.
100. Finally, to keep my subjects permanently locked in a mindless trance, I will provide each of them with free unlimited Internet access.