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Imperium Offtopicum, or IOT, is a type of forum game played on Civ Fanatics Forums. Specifically, it is a geopolitical clusterfuck that spawned out of the Altered Maps thread in Off-Topic, when taillesskangaru invited forumers to rename a country after themselves in an effort to revive the thread after weeks of inactivity. It backfired spectacularly, with those who made claims beginning to act like they are actually leaders of their own country, annexing more land, signing treaties, insulting other posters' countries and declaring wars. The situation very quickly got out of hand (in fact, at one point Mecca was nuked) and vehement protests by non-participating OT-ers led to the exercise being moved to Forum Games, where such wonderfully spammy content belongs. Then it got its own subforum to deviate it from the slightly-less-washed masses.So far, there have been 10 numbered installments of IOT and an imperial crapton of spin-offs, all varying greatly in how long they are able to last before they are aborted by the GM. For a more descriptive history of the game, see here.
Provides examples of:
After the End: The Aftermath is a direct sequel to IOT 4, set twenty years after the end of the game's final world war. Most of the planet is irradiated and nations are under constant threat by Nuclear Nasties.
Alternate History Wank: An Israelwank occurs in SonIOTII:20th Century thanks to a combination of being a continuation of a previous game where it had a massive economy and an abuse of expansion rules: they eventually end up ruling a colossal empire. The game ended because nobody wanted to go up against such a powerful country.
From Quebec to Manchuria, from Poland to Brazil, our armies are victorious. They have conquered all the Unclaimed World.
Butt Monkey: When he was around, Mathalamus. In recent months, Double A (possibly becoming The Woobie due to constant abuse, if Sonereal's unprecedented savior-like actions in Sons of Mars III indicate anything).
Calvinball: Often, IOT rules often change without warning and/or due to unstable GMs.
Actual tournament set up by Double A in Iron & Blood: Redux. Rules are still unreleased.
Cold War: Almost every game that lasts long enough and has a few world wars ends up having at least one of these.
Notable examples: GUN-NADTA in IOT IV, Accord-UNA in Iron and Blood.
Dark Is Not Evil: The Scarlet Lancers, a terrorist organization/secret society in Multipolarity. Their emblem is a red symbol on a black background and their leader, a nine-tailed fox, frequently employs sanguinary imagery in her denunciations of the Chinese leadership. However, they quickly earn international support as La Résistance, and in spite of their later role as State Sec prove themselves fiercely committed to democratic government at home and abroad.
Divided States of America: Happens almost every single game, due to the large amount of territories in America, along with many players being from there. Generally, there is always a Northeast state based in New England or New York, a Southern state that sometimes is a call back to the CSA, and a Western State that is invaribly ruled from California or Cascadia.
An entire IOT was based on this and completed. The climax was an all-out war between Communist and Capitalist states. It eventually ended with the former surrendering.
Enemy Mine: Despite it just being nuked by Partitionania, Angola worked with the Government-in-Exile of Partitionania to bring down Russia and was about to help against the Papal State.
For the Evulz / Stupid Evil: The Enlightened Vigilante Infiltration League in Multipolarity Rearmed. Their first world-arresting diabolical plan? Pour syrup on a painting.
Post-game debriefing revealed EVIL was Not So Harmless: it had instigated the civil war in Russia that saw an NPC victory and subsequent Rage Quit by the controlling player; possibly the first of its kind in IOT.
Game Master: Runs the game. There have been too many to list, and many games that last long enough can have 2 or 3 GMs over its course. IOT V tried a system with 5 GMs that each had different roles, it did not work well. Iron and Blood's second GM, kiwitt, won the Best GM Award, and for good reason.
Hitler Rants: The Downfall characters get their own faction in IOT 9.
Karma Houdini: christos200 in Multipolarity. After starting a continental war he can't hope to win, China sues for peace; on the same turn the treaty was to take effect, he launches a nuclear attack on India. Faced with total annihilation, he surrenders the country and retreats to a single province in Ethiopia with China's full nuclear stockpile, which he immediately uses to obliterate the Kingdom of Hawai'i for staggeringly disproportionate losses. He then forms a terrorist faction and invades democratic China, merging with a handful of splinter NPCs on the same turn. Before other players can mount a response, he joins the NPC-dominated "Italy-Russia Alliance" whose founding members "coincidentally" begin their own campaigns of regional conquest. Unsurprisingly, the only player country that chooses to normalize relations with China, the morally-dubious Papal States, is a member of the IRA, and had been previously receiving tithes from the monarchy.
The reconquest of China was particularly irksome as it could only be accomplished by the GM blatantly twisting his own rules. This combined with a number of other complaints killed the game a few turns later.
Light Is Not Good: Jehoshua's succession of Papal States are often the nexus of Machiavellian scheming, and tend to side with blatant dictators over more internationally-minded states owing to rigid adherence to a doctrine of "absolute state sovereignty".
Not So Different: Despite what some people say, IOT and NES games have a lot in common, the only difference being one is stat-focused, while one is RP-focused.
Nuclear Weapons Taboo: Instigated after the first game to keep things marginally less chaotic. Atomic weapons were reintegrated in IOT 4 in a bid by the GM to kill the game, but were adopted seriously in some later instalments.
Nuke 'em: Almost every IOT featuring WMD is guaranteed to see a nuclear war. The country Partitionania is especially fond of doing this to its enemies.
Conversely, IOT 4 and its sequel The Aftermath were the first games to impose substantial consequences for prolonged nuclear war. In addition to triggering popular unrest in the aggressor country, nuclear strikes permanently obliterated territories and spread radiation along geographic lines, in some cases leading to massive contamination along major waterways. Most of these effects only came to full light at the end of the war; the second game saw a total exchange of two missiles.
The Plan: Probably multiple every game, but one stands out: In SonRISK 2: Electric Boogaloo, Double A controlled South America and roughly half of Asia as Black Hole. Catalonia, led by JoanK, invaded him out of desperation. The only way for the conflict to be resolved was to either fight it out and inevitably lose to the large coalition thing comprised of the rest of Europe, all of Africa, and Australia, or to surrender. He did the latter.One turn later, Catalonia lost its capital and Black Hole was free again. Another turn into the game and Double A has conquered half the world.
Rage Quit: Mathalmus and Domination3000 were the worst offenders, though most players did it once or twice in their career.
Sonereal tends to randomly ban words in the IOT Chatroom, including "*quot;, "*quot;, and sometimes usernames, preventing the user from logging into the chat.
The Roman Empire: An Industrial-era New Roman Empire appeared in Iron and Blood, controlled by Omega124. It got heavy backlash because people assumed territories Rome was interested in was an non-negotiable SOI and lasted only a couple of turns before it got dogpiled and Omega Rage Quit due to being backstabbed by his only ally.
Vestigial Empire: Spain in Iron and Blood pulls a truly Up to Eleven example with an exile empire being built (and maintained!) in EASTERN SIBERIA!
A recent example of this happened in IOT: Valkyrie. It started because Turkey invaded Bulgaria. This lead to Greece declaring war on Romania to try to not fall behind the turks. One the lead to another and a huge war broke out. Something to note is that Turkey still hasn't actually joined the war, but instead soundly annexed Bulgaria.