Even the most basic secret hideaway will offer benefits to the mid-career supervillain which are unparalled. It gives you a place to put your loot. It may serve as a highly visible (or perhaps a highly infamous) status symbol to your peers and your victims. It is practically impossible to imprison captives for more than a couple centuries unless you have your very own dungeons to keep them in, and one is advised not to even consider raising hellspawn unless one had capacious grounds in which to do so.
Oftentimes an evil consort will insist on a luxurious and impressive evil lair as part of the cohabitation arrangements, commensurate with the surroundings they are accustomed to. Woe betide the fiend who has chronic trouble providing such, as experience shows that very few other amenities can adequately compensate for these demands of a persistent and determined homebody, resulting in subpar overall contentment.
- Architect. Make plans with one experienced with evil construction, with a site in mind.
- Financing. Fortunately it is easy these days to find a banker who is familiar with shocking evil deeds. Make sure you get the contracts spelled out in terms you can understand before you sign anything (consult with your evil lawyer).
- Contractors. How do these guys get off being so evil themselves? It would be nice if you could find an honest one who will do everything you want under budget and within your time schedule, but if even the scrupulously good have problems finding such a mythical beast, what hope does a supervillain have? Maybe you can scare the one you have into doing what you want.
- Amenities. In your budget you should consider what you need to have for things like furniture, appliances, secret passageways, creaky shutters, and the like. This kind of thing can add up, but it does contribute so much to the final effect.
Strokes of genius
- A kick-ass cool name. Petrofract, Noed XXXIV (Roman numerals always good to give the impression that you are in possession of a great many lairs), Skankgard, Metalldusttroksmif.
- Your own power plant. If you can generate your own gigawatts of power, that makes your mad scientist laboratory that much more independent of the risks imposted by connecting to the electrical grid, and you can find that it is more economical as well. Or if you are more into steam power, picture how much of a boon it is to be belching huge black clouds of sooty smoke when it comes to advertising your personal foulness. And when it comes to evil, one scarcely needs to do much of anything in the way of despicable deeds when you have a not-quite-stable nuclear reactor of your own.
- Twice as much garage space as you think you need. If you are the technological sort of mad scientist, you know how much room your vehicles and gadgets take. But even if your image is more of a low-tech sort, it is amazing how much it helps to have a spacious storage area for the paraphernalia you will pile up as your dastardly career goes on through the years and decades. Skimp on this and you'll be shopping for a new fortress much sooner than you expect.
Traps for mere fools
- Softheartedness. Do not become overly sentimental about the trappings. Keep Auntie Mayhem's iron maiden as a display piece if it is not up to modern torturing standards. Move the giant status of yourself out of your quarters to out of doors if it proves to be a hiding place for ninjas. If you can keep a businesslike atmosphere in the working parts of your fortress (the dungeons, labs, torture chambers, duelling pit), it may improve operations, and you can still bring a homey touch to your bedchambers and dining areas without missing much.
- Bad building materials. Chocolate, ice (in certain latitudes and without certain paranormal arrangements), anything in chenille. Come on, now. Usually masonry is your best bet - it keeps its looks and protective power even after fairly heavy bombardment.
- Slipshod management. It is a fact that even a well-heeled fiend can be brought low over time by laxity in maintaining and planning an evil fortress. Whether it's money that runs short, or unexpected local and fierce opposition, or a leaky roof over your balrog enclosure, you need to know that someone is completely on top of any issues that arise. Traditionally this office accrues to a lackey of yours now afflicted with a quease-inducing motor impairment of some sort not, as is commonly supposed, to take advantage of Federal disability incentives, but rather to take advantage of the familiarity with the detailed features of the defenses. If you need a caretaker but do not have a henchman fitting the bill, it may be time to manufacture one.
- No place to lay your head. Many evil supervillains will forgo a permanent base of ops, preferring to live on the mothership or constantly on the lam. While this is a romantic "Thelma and Louise" kind of ideal, think very hard about whether this is what you really want for the rest of your life, particularly if you have dietary or health considerations.
- Drafty crawlspaces.
Precious and needful
- High walls with spiky tops.
- Booby traps. (but remember where they are)
- Eat-in kitchen. (for convenience during sieges)
- Adequate homeowner's insurance.
- Satellite dishes. And radomes.
- Compact fluorescent lightbulbs.
- CAT6 wiring.
- How to haunt an evil forest
- How to create an evil menagerie
- How to keep a giant spider
- How to breed monsters
- How to raise a brood of vipers
- How to avoid a gruesome demise
- How to run a restaurant
- How to exploit advanced technology
- How to clone an army
- How to create an evil menagerie
- How to flee your pursuers
- How to get started with giant robots
- How to grow plants hungry for flesh
- How to worship an evil god
- How to plan a mass grave
- How to walk away from defeat
- How to run an institution of higher learning
- How to conceal an island
- How to buy a used death ray
- How to switch to open source software
- How to repair a broken portcullis
- How to restore a vintage spaceship
- How to clean a dungeon
- How to sleep in peace
- How to conduct a manhunt
- How to run a virtual world
- How to stage a show trial
- How to send secret transmissions
- How to rock an evil wardrobe
- How to reign over love slaves
- How to look frighteningly deranged
- How to display a mastery of wine
- How to entertain zombies
- Villainous starter home in a volcanic caldera
- The Safest Place on Earth Part I, Part II, and Part III
- Image credit The Vampire's Lair by snake.eyes
- Image credit Charnel No.5 by Compound Eye - 1st book at Blurb now!
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- How to Build a Secret Laboratory