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How to Conquer the Universe

Always be wary of the innocent lad from the farm.

Also watch the hotshot loner. By the end he will be a hero and a joiner.

Beware of any group consisting of a few mercenaries, a young boy, some women and a grey old man in a robe; they are invincible.

Look out for anyone with a strange birthmark over their heart in the shape of a dragon or a flame; they're bound to be trouble.

Never take the time to explain your motives, just shoot them.

Don't be subtle. A bullet does the job just as well.

Don't leave someone for dead. Slit their throat just to be sure.

If you meet someone with a mysterious past or a lost memory, kill them.

If you meet someone claiming to be from another world, kill them. They'll end up choosing to help the enemy.

Never believe you've managed to destroy the last of the Old Blood, the Old Power or whatever. There's sure to be someone just waiting to get you.

That street beggar is probably the prince foretold to defeat you.

Exiled royalty always returns.

Don't place your trust in a supposedly all-powerful supernatural entity. Some human will defeat it.

Never think that just because you are or have the backing of an evil god that you'll succeed.

God's don't always stay neutral and uninvolved.

Dark gods are capricious.

The gods probably have a few half-mortal offspring out there somewhere with enough supernatural power to be a threat.

Regardless of what you believe or have been told, you are not immortal. There is a special weapon, spell or hero out there that can kill you.

A half-taught mage/swordfighter/healer is twice as dangerous as a properly trained one.

Just because you've spent centuries perfecting your craft doesn't mean you can't be beaten by an apprentice

The bad guys couldn't hit a large brick wall at 30 paces with a flame-thrower.

The good guys could hit a sparrow at 300 paces with a pea-shooter. In a high wind. With a hangover.

The good guys will immediately be crack shots with an unfamiliar weapon.

The bad guys will remain hopeless after years of training.

The good guys' wounds are always non-fatal (unless the plot specifically requires otherwise).

The bad guys drop like flies.

If your ritual was interrupted and then completed, you won't get away with it.

Just because she's a princess doesn't mean she's stupid.

Don't force her to marry you. Just kill her.

Just because she acts stupid doesn't mean she is. If she's also beautiful be even more careful.

True love always triumphs. Don't bother trying to fight it.

The princess was probably pregnant when she escaped the destruction of the palace.

The ugly ones are the smartest and most dangerous.

The dissolute youngest prince is actually the brightest and most dangerous.

Their army is probably a diversion. You'll be defeated by a small select group infiltrating your citadel.

No fortress is impregnable.

Don't rely too heavily on magic. They'll get you with a projectile weapon or a blow to the head just as you're about to fry them.

Any spell can be broken.

Farmers with pitchforks and peasants with torches can beat your highly trained army any day.

Lost artifacts never stay lost.

Magic never disappears completely.

Old and forgotten lore is always being rediscovered, no matter how carefully you thought you eliminated it.

Dreams have hidden meanings. Yours and theirs.

Look out for any weapon that glows, unexpectedly catches fire or sings to anyone.

Beware of ungainly youths with big swords. They are bound to stick them where they aren't wanted.

Don't dress in black. It's hot and uncomfortable and it doesn't help.

Don't grow long cruel fingernails. They don't help and just get in the way.

When the wildlife starts fighting for the opposition, you're in trouble.

The animals might be intelligent.

The lost prince was raised by wolves.

If you meet an animal that can talk, kill it.

If you meet a woman who can talk to animals, kill her.

Conquered peoples always rebel.

There are always some literate slaves teaching the others.

The youngest son of the youngest son is sure to have a great destiny - probably to kill you and win the princess.

If you killed every person in the country, the youngest member of the royal family would still survive.

Killing the legitimate offspring may not be enough.

Don't threaten them directly, threaten their families.

The children are at least as dangerous as the adults.

Don't get too close.

Never ever turn your back.

Never be distracted.

Never let go of your hostages.

Never rely on the loyalty of your offspring and family.

Never trust someone who says "Trust me".

Never be merciful.

Never trust a traitor. By the end he or she will repent.

Never underestimate a scholar.

Never go up against a folk hero.

Never had ducting big enough for people to crawl through.

Never set your power base in the East and try to conquer the West. It won't work. Tradition is against you. Try somewhere else.

Don't rely on dark prophecies, but the good ones will be right.

Burn all ancient prophecies - but it may not help.

Grand gestures get you killed.

Gloating is for fools.

Don't make gradiose pronouncements of doom. It's a waste of breath.

You can't be right about everything.

Remember to learn from your mistakes.

Avoid phrases such as "Resistance is useless". They are cliched and more likely to make people laugh.

Who said dragons had to be evil?

Just because someone is dead doesn't mean they no longer have any influence and can't cause you any problems.

Old heroes never die. They just get reborn.

There is a residue of good hidden somewhere deep inside you. And there's some do-gooder out there looking for it.

If you have a better side, get rid of it.

Ancient legends have a nasty habit of being true.

Dead religions aren't always dead.

Don't discount mystical forces just because the explanations sound stupid.

The ignorant savages probably aren't ignorant savages at all.

Never rely on hired help.

Mercenaries can have principles.

To hell with bardic immunity.

There are probably hidden messages in the native songs and nursery rhymes.

Don't ignore someone because he's a lunatic. Crazy madmen can make a lot of sense.

Beware of anyone wearing strange clothes or who looks confused. They have probably just popped through a portal from New York or London.

Avoid anyone who can talk to his horse. He probably spends too much time in the saddle looking for things such as yourself to defeat.

A true hero can escape from any pit, forest, valley or mountain of despair.

Kill any witch you find. If she can't tell him of his lost birthright, he can't defeat you.

Stay paranoid. They really are out to get you.

If you think you've defeated them, wait for the sequel.

Don't go back into the past to try to prevent the hero from being born. He's sure to find a way to follow you.

Never hand your opponent back his (or her) weapon.

Never tell someone you killed their father.

Never discuss your plans in detail, even in an empty room. There's bound to be someone hiding behind the sofa.

Look out for the quiet types.

When summoning demons from Hell, make sure you now how to banish them back again.

Recycle your generals every six months. Or kill them before they can kill you.

Remember: If you can't have it, make sure no-one else can either.

If the sun breaks through the clouds just before a battle, give up and get out quick.

The underdog always wins.

You are not God (just a demi-god).

No matter what the situation might be, time secretly favours the other side.

Alignment with other tyrants never works. Kill them and steal their dark hosts instead.

A fair fight is never fair for you.

The wimp with right on his side will always beat your muscle bound champion. (ie. Beware the David v. Goliath syndrome.)

Kill any imcompetent employees or they will unwittingly help the enemy.

A single lone fighter will always manage to find that single, heavily defended weak spot and use it to beat the outrageously incredible odds and blow up your citadel.

Beware of the interpreter. Make sure you can speak the language yourself.

Beware of anything small, cute and furry. It doesn't mean they're harmless.

Avoid long, drawn-out and elaborate revenges.

Short cuts take longer.

Double cross everybody before they double cross you.

Don't let personal vendettas get in the way of the big plan.

No matter how effectively you thought you'd killed him, the hero will get up one more time when your back is turned.

Never lock someone up without tying them up first and then leaving a guard on the door.

A cute kid is trouble with a capital T.

Never take the hero's girlfriend hostage (or vice versa).

Never ignore the cleaner.

Never waste time with exotic execution methods. Just kill them as quickly and simply as possible.

All cooks are trained killers.

People with evil and sadistic laughs tend to come to bad ends.

Don't relax too soon.

They always come up on you from behind.

The only thing more dangerous than a looney is a charismatic looney.

Trust no-one.

No matter how hard you try, they always know your secret plans.

If you do want to keep it a secret, keep in on public display at their local town hall - They'll never look there!

There's nothing wrong with shooting them in the back.

If you're inteding to kill someone later anyway, do it now!


**********THE GOOD GUYS ALWAYS WIN!**********

And a final few to throw on the end that don't quite fit anywhere else:

No matter what your histories say, you originally came from Earth.

Before the cataclysm, this was Earth.

The aliens are really evil invaders.

Watch out for anyone who says "I'll be back".

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Feedback:Doug.Aberdeen AT anu.edu.au