"She's Shona Han. Disappearing for a hundred years just means she's had a hundred years to plan. Trying to find out what happened to her is just going to draw her attention."
Quote by a player about Shona Han.
There once was a GM named Odin Papsmear. Yea, and he went to the Giant in the Playground forums and put out a call: Freeform nation players were needed. A few answered the call.Thus began an epic freeform game of intrigue, technology, and war. The resurrected Roman Empire fought against a militaristic EU, while Russia restored its Tsar and scientists in the frozen lands of Siberia unlocked the full potential of the human mind. The Holy See moved to the moon, and built up a massive robotic fleet. A dictatorship claiming dominion over both North and South America declared war on the entire planet. In the middle of it all a shadowy oligarchy fought, very unsuccessfully, to prevent Africa from becoming the world's proxy battlefield. All this and more happened. The battles raged on page after page under Odin's all-seeing eye, until 20 turns later, it ended.Then there were sequels.Total War, not to be confused with the similarly named game series, is a loose freeform 'system' dominated by GM fiat and PvP conflict. Players gather, write up a background for their nations, generally set Twenty Minutes into the Future, the GM then hands them their stats based on their fluff, and the games begin. The first game alone saw the discovery of physic power, the destruction of a revived Roman Empire, the creation of the Four Horsemen, the psychically-enforced suicide of Switzerland, the failed murder of the Pope by laser-cannon, and the massive rebellion of a mad cult, amongst other strange events.The medium continued in several sequels, with multiple alternate timelines and time periods, from the direct 2260 sequel(s) to the numerous 2125 alternates.Read the original here.Tropes in Total War include:
0% Approval Rating: The more militaristic factions are like this. Also, has an actually crippling negative effect in the later games.
Arson Murderand Admiration: A common phenomenon, because really, murdering all those people by disease was despicable, but creating one of the Four Horsemen to do so? Impressive.
Crapsack World: Usually seen as a direct result of factions attempting to one-up each other in horribleness and brutality. Occasionally done  deliberately, in an attempt to make oneself look better than the other guy.
Crazy-Prepared: If you play Total War, you better be prepared to be this.
Dark Messiah: Borghese, the former leader of the Church of the Sun God in 2260, is a particularly vicious version of this. Emperor Umberto, in all his forms, is this, especially with his cult. Shona Han is also one of these.
Deader than Dead: Almost no one, and if they are, it's part of their plan. Cloning, mind-transfers into robots, and cyborgization really take the edge off death.
Death Is Cheap: Similarly, major characters find that this trope is thankfully true.
Diabolical Mastermind: Each faction leader thinks that his/her nation's enemies are this, but Grandmaster Borghese from the 2260 game is a definite example.
Dirty Communists: In the form of LUSA, a South American communist federation. Surprisingly, had one of the most morally decent leaders.
Doomed Moral Victor: Solaris, while one of the most moral of any nations in the first game, was crushed by the machinations of the other, more corrupt factions.
Doomsday Device: Found by the dozen in Total War, especially around the more tech-focused nations.
Expy: In Total War 2260, the Scandinavian nation of Midgard is one of these for the Imperium of Man from [[Warhammer40k]]
Frickin' Laser Beams: A common sight in the first Total War game, but largely abandoned by the newer ones.