Rumors of War started out as an idea for a campaign using the rules for Mage: the Ascension. I’d been playing Mage with a group and the current adventure was coming to close. I kind of wanted to run something high on the action-adventure scale, and what I really wanted to play was Dungeons & Dragons, but I figured I could get the same type of high-adventure play if I ran something in mythical Greece. I was thinking something along the lines of God of War. But more “heroic.”

I set about doing my research, which involved lots of reading about the gods and the sorts of monsters and adventures described in Greek Mythology. I’d played God of War, and I wanted the same type of action, the same energy that the game had, but I wanted the characters to be less jerkass than Kratos, I wanted to give them gods and demigods as allies, not antagonists.

I also wanted to do something earlier, maybe around the time of the Trojan War. At some point, I reached an intersection of ideas, and the concept of a post-war mythical world came around. I wrote up a basic outline of some ideas, in a four- act structure, including a foray into the Underworld. I didn’t want to actually make the game about the gods, just the servants of the gods. Maybe as the bunch of cosmic playthings that they were.

I probably did the worst thing imaginable when I started doing my research — I tried to make sense of the genealogy of the Greek gods. I was mired in reading for weeks. I got a lot of great reading in there, but most of it went to waste as I made chart after chart, after worthless chart. *sigh* I started working on the background for the campaign in September 2007, I think it wasn’t until January or February that I decided that charting the gods’ genealogy was a waste of time, and that if I wanted two gods to be related, I’d just make it so. >_<