The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Monsters
by Alex Shvartsman
It isn't easy being green, scaly, or abominable these days. Humanity turned the tables on the apex predators of the food chain, and has been exterminating us with extreme prejudice.
We're still faster and stronger than they are, but we're prone to defeat by bad judgment. Heed the lessons of our vanquished brethren; learn from their mistakes and remain successful, extant, and satiated.
1) Don't Rely on Henchmen
There's no denying that it's emotionally satisfying to be worshipped--or at least obeyed--by humans. However, there is little practical benefit. In the entire history of henchmen, cultists, minions, lackeys, and worshippers, one is hard-pressed to come up with a single paragon of effectiveness. Instead they tend to be slow, dim-witted, and clumsy.
At best, your followers might mildly inconvenience your adversary as he or she rampages through your lair or secret laboratory, Sharp Object of Destiny in hand. At worst, they might develop last-minute regrets and attempt to throw you down the nearest shaft.
So next time someone asks if you're a god, just eat them.
2) Heed the Warning Signs
Ignoring the obvious means you're just asking for trouble. For example, vampires and other beings highly allergic to Vitamin D are advised to steer clear of towns with the word "sunny" in their name. That's just common sense.
There are plenty of better targets, places with names that evoke gothic dread and despair. Names like Gloaming Creek, Murky Hallow, Gloomsburg, or Detroit.
3) Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Don't climb skyscrapers. There's little room to maneuver up there, and the position isn't defensible.
If your adversary is running away, they're almost certainly leading you into a trap.