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Literature
The Care and Feeding of Evil Empires part 9
By Corvax 13
Part 9.
The Mad Emperor
As the Dictator’s (or succession of Dictators) reign grinds on, he’ll squeeze the world with an ever-tighter grip, desperately trying to keep his ever-widening hold on the world, frantically trying to keep the Chaos at bay. At the very end, almost nothing of the noble champion will be left. His veneer will have worn away, and the whole world will see his naked evil. And, as he rattles out his last breath, the world will take note, but not mourn one who was once its greatest hero. The Empire will look to his Heir- the heir who has also been chosen and groomed, but not by Heaven, but rather by those Hags I keep bringing up. He will be lauded as a rescuer from the Dictator’s avarice and rapacity. But he doesn’t want to be a Predestined Hero. Or even a Dictator. He wants to be a Dark Lord.
He is the Mad Emperor.
The archetypal Mad Emperors from
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Literature
The Care and Feeding of Evil Empires part 8
By Corvax 13
Part 8.
Secret Tunnels and hidden complexes: The Dictator is just as paranoid as the Dark Lord, and for just as good reasons. And his need for control will lead to twin, linked, and on the surface paradoxical passions for secrecy and the appearance of forthright openness. If you’re the only one who knows something important, then you control that situation; if everyone thinks that you have no secrets, then you really control the situation. So the Dictator- or a select handful of loyal operatives- will contrive an array of nasty tricks that would fit right into a 1960s TV Spy show. Leading the list of those nasty tricks are secret passages with hidden entrances, and hidden complexes. The strategic and tactical (and even political) advantages of these assets should be obvious to any sufficiently devious GM. And of course, even past the lifespan of the Dictator or Empire, these holdouts could play major roles in whatever adventure or intrigue you mi
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Literature
The Care and Feeding of Evil Empires part 7
By Corvax 13
Part 7.
Guilds of Evil Wizards: The Dictator would never specifically found a guild for evil wizards. But It would violate everything that the Dictator believes in (and really believes in, not just tells himself that he believes) to leave a focus of incredible magical power like a Wizard’s College or Guild unsupervised. Indeed, he’ll found a special college for wizards and sorcerers in his capitol, equipped with the best tools, materials and texts, just so that he set the terms for attending. Any prospective wizard who’d just sign a contract that they haven’t read, or swear an oath that they haven’t worked out, is one who isn’t worth the bother of training. So instead of a single, big, for-all-the-chips oath, there are oaths for levels of initiation, with First Year students taking an oath, and another oath for Second Year, and so on and so on, until you get
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Literature
The Care and Feeding of Evil Empires part 6
By Corvax 13
Part 6.
The Dictator
Eventually, the Dark Lord will meet his end; even HE can’t out-weasel his karma forever. Exactly how he gets stuffed into that special crypt is up to the GM. The point is that when the Dark Lord exits the stage, he’s replaced by the Dictator. The Dictator is not just Dark Lord 2.0. No, he is a very different kettle of poison fish, with a venom all his own.
The first and foremost difference is while the Dark Lord is almost the personification of Chaotic Evil (as the D&D scheme goes), the Dictator is Lawful Evil, with the emphasis on the Lawful. The Dark Lord was essentially a criminal leading a criminal enterprise; the Dictator is a general and statesman. He is a tough, methodical, shrewd, thoughtful, calculating, foresighted, scrupulous architect of a state, with careful consideration to the long run, the needs of the people under his domain, the strengths and weaknesses of the forces at his command, the concerns of neighb
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Literature
The Care and Feeding of Evil Empires part 5
By Corvax 13
Part 5.
The Meme of the Dark Lord

If the Dark Lord is a part of your world, you’ve got to decide exactly HOW the Dark Lord fits into that setting. After all, Evil has standards. If there aren’t certain criteria for being a Dark Lord set, well, any silly piggy who finds a magic amulet and black cloak can call himself a Dark Lord. And that’s just lame.
The First Dark Lord will be breaking whole new ground. That has both its advantages and disadvantages. On one hand, the First Dark Lord won’t have entire tribes of evil demi-humans banging on his door looking to join up, or talented evil henchmen signing up on the weight of his word, or whole countries shitting national bricks at the word that he’s coming. He’ll just be some guy in an ominous horned bucket helmet with a bad attitude. All that will come, in time, but he’ll have to get it the old-fashioned way: he
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Literature
The Care and Feeding of Evil Empires part 4
By Corvax 13
Part 4.
Twisted Lieutenants: Of course, as everyone who’s watched The Masters of the Universe (or any other ‘toy franchise’ cartoon show) knows, the Dark Lord can’t enslave the world all by himself (no matter what he says). No, he needs a cadre of complete and utter blaggards who are champing at the bit to conquer the world, or at least cut off a slice for themselves while the Dark Lord is taking the lion’s share. Each of these lieutenants is a credible villain and threat unto themselves, and truly worthy of their own Action Figure (or two! Maybe even with a kung-fu grip!) In many ways, it’s not surprising that the Dark Lord has to keep busy with evil projects; if this crew was left sitting around with nothing to do, they’d get ideas that the Dark Lord couldn’t afford, and he has enough problems in that direction. And even if they’re kept bu
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Literature
The Care and Feeding of Evil Empires Pt. 3
The Care and Feeding of Evil Empires
By Corvax 13
Part 3.
Secret Societies: While Dark Lords definitely prefer overwhelming force and intimidation, it’s a poor Master of Evil who doesn’t know that guile, persuasion and temptation are effective tools. And every general knows that 10 men operating inside an enemy city’s walls are worth 1000 outside it. And the use of covert operations and terror within a target population are a good way to keep up the ass-clench factor for the Dark Lord’s enemies, as his Vile Majesty builds up (or replenishes) his conventional forces. Secret Societies of varying stripes can provide these services for a Dark Lord; and, best of all the Dark Lord can choose to either create a secret society to suit his needs, or simply co-opt an existing secret society already in place. If not both.
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Literature
The Care and Feeding of Evil Empires pt. 2
The Care and Feeding of Evil Empires
By Corvax 13
Part 2.
Lazarus Pits: Dark Lords are allergic to dying. Ironic, considering how much time and effort they devote to making people want to kill them. And, let’s face it: whether it’s a battle royal on the battlefield, or an assassin’s blade or an exploding Fiendish Device, or even simple Old Age, there are LOTS of ways for a Dark Lord to be killed, maimed or incapacitated.
Which sucks.
To get around this, the Dark Lord has a Lazarus Pit, which keeps him coming back time and again, well after anyone else would have said, ‘screw this, I’m going to study the violin, like my mother wanted me to’.
Classically, a Lazarus Pit is a seething pool of some strange liquid deep in some cavern somewhere, but really, it can be anything that maintains the Dark Lord’s life and vigor: a Ring of Regeneration, a Holy Grail analog, an Elixir Vitae, a Tree of Life, a Rite of Renewal, whatever. Of course, things
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Literature
The Care and Feeding of Evil Empires
By Corvax 13
Part 1.
One of the major problems of Fantasy Role-Playing Games is that many of the classic tropes that we associate with FRPG (dungeons, roaming bands of demi-human bandits, bizarre monsters, magic weapons lying around in troves, books of fiendish lore, etc. et al) simply don’t make that much sense. Still, they’re fun, and many a world-smith has made a botch of things, trying to shoehorn them in where they simply don’t fit.
And yet, there’s another trope that is largely ignored, which can serve as a perfect explanation for most of the rest of them: the Evil Empire. Evil Empires are what happens when ‘the heroes’ fail to prevent this generation’s ‘Dark Lord’ from imposing his will over a huge part of ‘The Land’ (whatever that land is) by means most vile, crushing all resistance and ruling with an iron hand. Fortunately for the rest of t
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Corvax13
Alex Morgan
United States
Loser's idea of a loser. That pretty much says it all

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:icondpragan:
DPRagan Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Happy Sidereal Day!
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:iconpuppetcancer:
Puppetcancer Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2015  Hobbyist
The statement that really caught my eye was: "While each Dark Lord is an individual, one thing is consistent: they’re all gamblers." Interesting hypothesis there!
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:icondpragan:
DPRagan Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Happy Orbital Completion Day! (1 day early by my computer)
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:iconparadize96:
paradize96 Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2008
hi
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:iconnorvandell:
NORVANDELL Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Now I'm your second!, so there.

Thanks for stopping by and looking around mine.

Tod
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:iconautumnrun:
autumnrun Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2008
random deviant! just stopping by to say :wave:!! hey, am I your first comment? cooool have a nice day.
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