I think this is fantastic. I'm a big fan of Berin's work and Dancing Lights Press products in general, and I didn't see this one coming (he's so busy doing background-work-type texts for DLP).
OK so the game is obviously inspired by political events of the past few years (especially the last two). If you're as frustrated as I have been watching the newsfeeds, you're looking for a game with which to vent your frustrations, and you like streamlined mechanics, check this one out.
Pros: The Lighthouse system is easy to use and intended to foster collaborative storytelling.There are shades of FATE with respect to character development and managing dice rolls. With this as a mechanical foundation, Revelations in Cold Iron presents a setting reminiscent of the older World of Darkness... except that the gritty badness kinda errily familiar --and current! I like the paranoia, near-hopelessness, and desperate feel. The bad guys are untouchable, and really bad. They'rein positions to offer themselves, as Chomsky put it, riches "beyond avarice". And they're ruthless. The good guys are pretty screwed, and there's a lot of variability built into the rules system so you can make archetypes rather than stereotypes (my least favourite part of the White Wolf games was that the PCs "types" were based on stereotypes). I also like the book's structure (a lot, but really tight structure is typical for DLP). The twist that makes Revelations in Cold Iron a game rather than retelling current events is that (subtle) magic is a thing, and the PCs can do something about the grim situations in which they find themselves. The types of magic are relatively easy to understand (harder than DnD, a lot easier than Mage or Ars Magica). (Thought: What if the game's premise is true and the game is a bit of magick developed just to distract us?)
Cons: I know limiting art in the books is a philosphical thing for DLP, but I like pictures in my books. That's a personal preference. A bigger con is that the book doesn't seem to have been edited carefully; I noticed a number of typos just skimming it the first time. I would have given 5 stars if the editing had been more careful. For content, inspiration, and style, it's an easy five stars. Having said that, if you tend toward the more conservative-by-American-standards end of the political spectrum, you may perceive this game to be an unfairly biased part of the liberal agenda and suspect that a recent US president commissioned it in another attempt to stifle your freedoms and take your guns. If that's the case, don't buy this game, reading it will only enrage you more. (Wait a minute, what if my thought experiment is true? What if the book is designed to distract less conservative gamers from actually getting involved and making a difference? What if the spell used provokes anger and a desire to shut it down in gamers who support the political status quo? OMG!! "They" know I'm reviewing it!! Crap! I don't know what I'm goi