Being an evil overlord is an incredibly rewarding career choice! Overlords have prestige, money, flexible office hours, and best of all: power! Being an evil overlord allows one to wield an immense amount of power. Some overlords, Bill Gates for example, have even managed to take over entire countries! Someday you too could have this much power, but first you must face the hardest task that faces an aspiring overlord: actually becoming an evil overlord.
In order to become an evil overlord you're going to need a few things. You'll need a lair to operate from, a major credit card, a super weapon, and/or an object that is the source of all your power. But the first and arguably most important thing to obtain is a good group of lackeys.
Lackeys are known by many names: goons, thugs, minions, slaves, servants, and the ever-popular "groveling boot-lickers". Lackeys are the ones that do all the things that you don't want to. Things like cleaning toilets, recruiting for you army, or anything else the might force you to get up from your nice, comfy chair.
You may have trouble finding lackeys when you first start out, since you can't just get one from a convenient vending machine (except maybe in Japan, they have vending machines for everything). A good way to find lackeys is to walk around giving orders. Anyone that follows your order unquestioningly is a good candidate for a lackey. Be careful in your recruiting though, lackeys may not be known for their intelligence, but you don't want ones that are too stupid to do their jobs! Remember: good help is hard to find, so take good care of your lackeys (unless of course they displease you, in which case feel free to kill them).
Now that you have your lackeys, it's time to order them around. Send some of the smarter ones to either find more lackeys, or recruit for your army. Send the dumber ones out on errands or have them stick around to take care of the lair. You might also want to a few "yes men" around. Since you're not paying them to think (if at all), lackeys are perfect for this job. You're also going to need a lackey to serve as your trusted lieutenant.
Trusted lieutenants are important. It's their job to keep track of things and keep everything running smoothly, so no one has to interrupt your afternoon nap because they forgot your orders. For this reason your lieutenant should be the smartest and most dependable of all your lackeys. Lieutenants fall into three main categories: untrusted, trusted, and completely trusted. Entrance into the last category is almost always awarded posthumously. Now that you have lackeys and a lieutenant to keep an eye on them, it's time to find a lair.
Your lair will be your base of operations, so location is important. Try to place it in the center of your intended power base. Placing it near a good take-out restaurant is a good idea; you never know when you might get hungry. If your lair is near an arms dealer, even better.
A common misconception is that lairs need to be large. The only reason for a large lair is if you intend to provide housing for your staff. A large base is a bad idea, not only is it expensive to heat in the winter, but it is less secure. You can just as easily operate out of a small apartment. And it's less suspicious as well.
Now that you have a lair, you're going to want to decorate it. I prefer stone walls and a Persian motif to give it a touch of exotic elegance. If that's not your style then you can always find ideas in the magazines of fellow evil overlord Martha Stewart. And don't forget the dungeon, it should be ill-lit and damp in order to convey the proper sense of gloom to your prisoners.
Now that you're settled in, it's time to establish your power base. This will most likely involve conquering a village or a city. There are three main ways to accomplish this goal: start a cult, take it by force, or run for political office.
Starting a cult is one of the cheapest and most popular methods of conquest. Cults are cheap because the members bring their own supplies, and they are popular because there is almost never a lack of people willing to join. Be careful though, the smartest cult member is about as bright as your dumbest lackey. Cult members also have the nasty tendency of killing themselves for reasons they consider religious, such as the porch light coming on, or the batteries in their Walkman dying.
The purpose of a cult is to brainwash the local populous into following you. This is a slow and painstaking process with no guarantees for success, but many overlords feel that that this is made up for by the constant worship of their followers. Unfortunately, cults have a high turnover rate. To a cultist the only thing better than suicide is mass suicide. For this reason most cults don't seem to last very long.
If starting a cult doesn't appeal to you, you could try using force to take over. To do this you'll need one of two things: an army, or a super weapon. Let's start with the former of the two. Remember those lackeys you sent on a recruiting mission earlier? If they have been doing their job then you should have a good-sized army by now. You can now use this army to take the city by force. Even a small army can take over a city with proper planning. This seems simple and straightforward, but there is a downside to armies. First off, you have to pay and equip your army. This can be very expensive, but recruiting street gangs can circumvent this cost. Not only do they bring their own weapons, but by promising them power in your new empire you can most likely avoid paying them!
If your lackeys haven't managed to recruit an army for you then you're probably going to need a super weapon. A perennial favorite is the 'beam cannon', which fires a concentrated beam of energy or light at a target. The best way to obtain a super weapon is to fund the science club of the local high school. Now that the club can afford to undertake their unorthodox experiments the loveable scamps will soon produce for you a weapon of unbelievable power. Before using your super weapon, make sure it has been fully tested. No one ever conquered the world with a beta version. It is also a good idea to avoid using diseases as a weapon, not only are they messy, but they have a nasty tendency of infecting the overlords that create them.
There is a problem with using force though. The locals might not like what you are doing and form a rebellion that has to be crushed before your plans can proceed. Another problem is a creature called heroicus dramaticus, the common hero. The common hero likes nothing better than to meddle in the plans of overlords. Heroes are impossible to kill, and are the bain of overlords everywhere. Fortunately, heroes only attack when provoked, so if you ignore them they will only cause a minimum of trouble.
If you don't want to use force, or have to deal with heroes, then running for political office is a good idea. The hard part is getting people to vote for you. Lying goes a long way, but if you really want to get voted in, you're going to have to give the voters a reason to pick you over the other candidate. This is where a credit card comes I handy. If you have a good credit history you can use it to apply to as many different cards as possible. Once you have these cards, obtain a large cash advance with each of them. Take the advance and form a lottery, and offer a ticket for the lottery to anyone that votes for you. This will most likely guarantee you the election, because not many people will pass up a chance at free money. None of them will win of course, you're evil so you'll naturally keep the money for yourself, or pay it back to the credit card companies if you're the type of overlord that values a good credit history.
Now that you've taken over, whether through cults, force, or politics, it's time to enjoy the rewards. Tax your citizens, conquer more cities, torture prisoners! If you want, you can even start you own harem! What you do with your power is up to you. Enjoy your rewards and don't forget to practice your maniacal laugh.
If you have any questions, comments, or constuctive critisism email me