When everything is going smoothly, the wise madman attends to his or her foundational principles, heading off both complacency and breathing life into the routine. It is better to make use of every bit of excess capacity between struggles so that you can identify and cut out the healthy-seeming parts which have actually gone to rot under the surface. This is not an easy prescription, as many can attest, but one which separates the masterful monstrosities from the merely mediocre. Additionally, the dull grey periods afford the busy supervillain a chance to try out the most promising ideas on the backlog that ought to be simmering in the bowels of the compound. It even helps with staffing concerns, serving both as rewards and as punishments for those minions tasked to take on these challenges depending on their level of commitment to your mission. Here are some ways you can liven up those dreary formless stretches to your best advantage.
The supervillain who has set up their lair in a submerged caldera is likely to be less bothered by a spot of poor weather. If the lair is in a forest it is much more likely to be beset by these drab periods particularly at lower elevations.
- Make some noise. Your best ally in turning a gloomy stretch of nothingness into something which your entire staff will remember for years to come is a killer playlist echoing through your compound at a healthy volume. Even the truly non-sentient beasts in your stockyards will respond to a driving beat.
- Crack open a new project. If you have all the materials for your next new initiative and have just been waiting for the time to set things in motion, then clear out the ordinary routine from our calendar and allocate time to execute the first few action items on this new plan. With any luck a string of successes with small parts of the project will build up momentum which will carry your minions through the more difficult stages. Aim for something finite where you will end up with a tangible item in the end,
- Dust off a game. The expediency of engaging in some idle pastime will fill the gap temporarily. In time it will most likely cause the mind to turn outward away from its own inner rot for a while, yet in the calm still of the night the negative pressure will re-exert itself and pull the rootless spirit ever inward.
- The lucre won't count itself. Many fiends find great satisfaction while taking stock of their ill-gotten gains now and then in the midst of the frenetic activities needed to amass it in the first place. If you can arrange to store a substantial portion of your riches in the form of heaps of gold coins you may allow yourself the rare opportunity of diving in bodily among them, the better to enjoy the way they press against your skin.
- Carryover effect. After the clouds have left, plan to capitalize on the new addition to your arsenal, whether or not it leads directly to an unambiguous gain. If you have units or allies not within the boundaries of your current force footprint, arrange to have them view a summary of your activity shortly thereafter.
Strokes of genius
- Dipping into your stock. Now is the time to make the most of a lackluster stretch of time and pull out all the props you have set up in the lab possessing the most eye appeal. A lair bedecked with a number of fiendish baubles is always a pleasure to behold.
- Declare a carnival. Nothing perks up a group of minions more than a license to let their inhibitions go for a while. There will be prizes for the costume which best captures your evil mission and for the best performance while in a state of madness.
- Create a thing of beauty. Craft and its more respectable cousin of art is again a large enough psychic playing field that one is unlikely to run out of frontiers to explore over many years and decades. Not everyone has the kind of temperament for the artistic life, as it calls for a certain keenness in perception coupled with an ability to disregard the meager compensation. Villains naturally gravitate toward the middleman role in the art world where the opportunities for skimming off of the cash flow is combined with the least amount of capital required.
Traps for mere fools
- The inmates run the asylum. While revelry can be a welcome outlet to prod the sluggish into increased awareness of their station in life, too much stimulation can lead to more wanton destruction than you can conveniently absorb at one time.
- Hangover city. Overindulgence in intoxicants even while off duty can usher in laxness in security long afterwards.
- Information leaks.
- Wet basements.
Precious and needful
- Food on a stick. Greasy, salty tidbits can go a long way toward distracting a jaded palate.
- Live minstrels. Perhaps performing in animal costumes.
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- Image credit Witches Brew by nme421
- Image credit watch, come to the dark side by woodleywonderworks
- Image credit Self Portrait Tuesday by BRC24 Studio