A bit about Evil Overlords - part of Evil Expo 2020

  • After I capture the hero’s super-weapon, 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.
  • All bumbling conjurers, clumsy squires, no-talent bards, and cowardly thieves in the land will be preemptively executed; all annoying and/or humorously clever robots and androids will be destroyed; and it shall be declared a capital crime to be the “town drunk”.  The hero will certainly give up and abandon his quest if he has no handy source of comic relief.
  • All deathtraps will have only one way in or out, with any way out leading to an even more cunning deathtrap that works faster.
  • All repair work will be done by an in-house maintenance staff.  Any “repairmen” who show up at the door will be escorted to the dungeon.

-From Jack Butler’s compilation of The Evil Overlord List

Why do Evil Overlords consistently make so many of the same damn mistakes?

The great thinkers of ancient times (think: the 1990s) began compiling lists of frequent mistakes made by villainous rulers.  There are a few compilations out there (we’ve picked 

While part of the original goal was simply to vent about unwise antagonist decisions, we feel this list is a great starting point for looking at current media–if you’ve ever been watching a screen and wanted to shout “YOU IDIOT, DON’T LEAVE THE HEROES ALIVE”, then this is a good panel for you.

In general, the budgets for sci-fi, fantasy, and horror are way higher than they used to be, and we’ve seen some of the best writing and acting come out of the modern age.  But we also see some shockingly dumb villains–or some great villains with unnecessary fatal flaws.

What kind of Evil Expo would we be if we didn’t talk about some of these common villain mistakes as seen in books, film, and games–and how to use them, spin them, twist them, and do original things with these ideas?