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In Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, the worryingly clever Professor Quirrell tells the first-year Defence Against the Dark Arts class about his list, of things he would never do if he was to become a Dark Lord:

"Is it your ambition to become the next Dark Lord?"

"That's an odd question, Professor," said Draco. I mean, who'd be dumb enough to admit it?"

A few students laughed, but not many.

"Indeed," said Professor Quirrell. "So while there's no point in asking any of you, it would not surprise me in the slightest if there were a student of two in my classes who harbored ambitions of being the next Dark Lord. After all, I wanted to be the next Dark Lord when I was a young Slytherin."

This time the laughter was much more widespread.

"Well, it is the House of the ambitious, after all," Professor Quirrell said, smiling. "I didn't realize until later that what I really enjoyed was Battle Magic, and that my true ambition was to become a great fighting wizard and someday teach at Hogwarts. In any case, when I was thirteen years old, I read through the historical sections of the Hogwarts library, scrutinizing the lives and fates of past Dark Lords, and I made a list of all the mistakes that I would never make when I was a Dark Lord—"

Throughout the story, we find out several items on his list:

"[...] So, Mr. Potter, can you guess what was the very first item on that list?"

Great. "Um... never use a complicated way of dealing with an enemy when you can just Abracadabraca them?"

"The term, Mr. Potter, is Avada Kedavra," Professor Quirrell's voice sounded a bit sharp for some reason, "and no, that was not on the list I made at age thirteen. Would you care to guess again?"

"Ah... never brag to anyone about your evil master plan?"

Professor Quirrell laughed. "Ah, now that was number two. My, Mr. Potter, have we been reading the same books?"

What were the rest of the items on his list (that we know of)?

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    Wasn't this simply a variant of the venerable Evil Overlord List, or "Things I'll do if I ever become an Evil Overlord"? (Warning: TV tropes) – Mr Lister Apr 21 '16 at 6:36
  • @MrLister could be... has Eliezer Yudowsky ever said that he based it on this list? Some points are fairly similar, apart from the do not become a snake/become an animagus one – user32390 Apr 21 '16 at 10:56
  • Interesting that they forgot this conversation by their second year when slytherin's monster was on the loose – user46509 Apr 21 '16 at 13:58
  • But....but they found about avada kedavra in fourth year. o_O – manshu Apr 21 '16 at 14:34
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    Not sure this should be tagged harry-potter as that tag is for questions about the real Harry Potter series, not fanfics. – TylerH Apr 21 '16 at 18:13
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The Reddit thread 'What are the rules on Quirrell's 'Rules for Being a Successful Dark Lord' list?' provides a good start towards answering the question, but is somewhat incomplete. It is very difficult to find all the rules, as the text never gives a complete list of all rules, and only provides some rules in a disjointed manner.

However...

The rules specifically referred to and numbered are:

1​. Do not go around provoking strong, vicious enemies

"But no. The first item was, 'I will not go around provoking strong, vicious enemies.' The history of the world would be very different if Mornelithe Falconsbane or Hitler had grasped that elementary point. Now if, Mr. Potter—just if by some chance you harbor an ambition similar to the one I held as a young Slytherin—even so, I hope it is not your ambition to become a stupid Dark Lord."
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality; chapter 19 (Delayed Gratification), page 288

2​. Don't brag

"Precisely," said Professor Quirrell. He was grinning. "So I am going to violate rule two—which was simply 'don't brag'—and tell you about something I have done."
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality; chapter 20 (Baye's Theorem), page 321

8​. Any technique which is good enough to defeat me once is good enough to learn myself.

"Rule Eight," said the Defense Professor. "Any technique which is good enough to defeat me once is good enough to learn myself."
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality; chapter 90 (Roles I), page 1512

1​0. Do not rant about the opposition's unworthiness after they have foiled you

"Fair enough, I suppose," said Professor Quirrell. "There is a saying that even a stopped clock is right twice a day, and I do not think Miss Granger was actually being reasonable. Still, Rule Ten: one must not rant about the opposition's unworthiness after they have foiled you."
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality; chapter 108 (The Truth V: Answers and Riddles), page 1738

1​2. Never leave the source of your power lying around where someone else can find it

"Visualize the scene, Mr. Potter. Let your imagination fill in the details. Slytherin's Monster—probably some great serpent, so that only a Parselmouth may speak to it—has finished imparting all of the knowledge it possesses to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. It conveys to him Salazar's final benediction, and warns him that the Chamber of Secrets must now remain closed until the next descendant of Salazar should prove cunning enough to open it. And he who will become the Dark Lord nods, and says to it—"
"Avada Kedavra," aid harry, suddenly feeling sick to his stomach.
"Rule Twelve," Professor Quirrell said quietly. "Never leave the source of your power lying around where someone else can find it."
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality; chapter 49 (Prior Information), page 783

3​4. Become an Animagus

"Obviously," hissed the snake. "Thirty-sseven ruless, number thirty-four: Become Animaguss. All sensible people do, if can. Thuss, very rare."
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality; chapter 49 (Prior Information), page 785

Rules talked about, but never given a number:

In matters of vital importance, handle them yourself instead of sending a lieutenant

"[...] In retrospect it would have been better if I had sent Bellatrix to the Potters' home in my place; but I had a Rule telling me that for such matters I must go myself and not try sending a trusted lieutenant."
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality; chapter 108 (The Truth V: Answers and Riddles), page 1729

Rules given a number, but never talked about:

Rules 9, 16, 20 and 22 violated by creating an enemy to oppose

"It was when I had the prospect of creating another Tom Riddle to plot against, someone even more worthy than Dumbledore, that I was first willing to contemplate the end of my war. Yes, in retrospect that sounds stupid, but sometimes our emotions are more foolish than we can bring our reason to admit. I would never have espoused such a policy deliberately. It would have violated Rules Nine, Sixteen, Twenty, and Twenty-two and that is too much even if you are enjoying yourself."
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality; Chapter 108 (The Truth V: Answers and Riddles), page 1752

  • 1
    Regarding "Rules 9, 16, 20, and 22," I believe those were referring to the way he purposely delayed winning the war against Dumbledore (albeit without a conscious decision to do so), not creating the second Tom Riddle. If he'd thought in hindsight that having a second Tom Riddle around was a bad idea, he would have killed said person as soon as he got a body back, before said person ever touched a wand (as he stated earlier in the story). – Mike Kellogg Apr 21 '16 at 17:35
  • @MikeKellogg good point, however don't forget the resonance that stopped Harry and Quirrell interacting magically or physically. Quirrell would have had to kill Harry with a non-magical weapon without touching him, or sent someone else to do it. – user32390 Apr 22 '16 at 8:09
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    He does specifically mention sniper rifles, if I recall. =P – Mike Kellogg Apr 22 '16 at 11:21
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  1. I will not go around making big and powerful enemies.
  2. Don't brag.
  3. One must not rant about the opposition's unworthiness after they have foiled you.
  4. Never leave the source of your power lying around where someone else can find it.
  5. Become an Animagus.

Source I stone from: https://www.reddit.com/r/HPMOR/comments/31eyum/what_are_the_rules_on_quirrells_rules_for_being_a/

Mr Lister mentioned the Evil Overlord list: It's likely it was inspired by that. Notably, rule 34 there is : "I will not turn into a snake. It never helps.", while Quirrell's is "Become an Animagus".

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