This product is awful. It is portrayed as a horror setting set in Revolutionary America, but the authors apparently did no research on the subject. It is set in 1776, billed as ‘the eve of the Revolution’, whereas the war had actually started the year before (which is why the coat of arms of the US Army, the direct descendant of the Continental Army, displays ‘1775’).
It refers to the British Army as ‘loyalist Red-coats’. During the Revolution, a Loyalist was the term applied to colonists who sided with the Empire, whether they fought in the local units raised by the British or were simply sympathizers. While some British infantry in the Revolutionary war wore red coats, many did not, and a quarter of the force was not even British, but Hessian auxiliaries who wore their national uniform (not red).
The general ignorance continues throughout the material. The 1770s are a fascinating period as the Native American tribes, the British, the French, and the rebel colonists all swirled in a political maelstrom of ancient feuds and current realpolitik. Military aid, bribery, political leverage, spying, and subterfuge swirled madly as the various factions in the war courted allies, called upon old friends, and tried to influence third parties. The political ramifications surrounding the involvement of the Native Americans could fill out a campaign without much difficulty, with PCs playing agents of any faction, or none (being merely profit-based opportunists, of which there were historically aplenty).
But the book ignores all that; in fact, the authors urgently advise their players to ignore tribal differences (beyond ‘respecting’ the cultures involved) and ignore the settler/native issues that made up at least half of the Revolution.
Slavery is an issue which the authors firmly state is taboo; players may not touch upon the subject. This despite the fact that the British created an entire regiment of former slaves, granting freedom in return for service (which they honored, even evacuating the regiment and its families to Canada when the war ended); likewise, the rebels encouraged slaves to aid their cause (but did not honor their promises), thus ignoring an wealth of period role-play opportunities. The topic of indentured servitude, another major issue of the time and another source of role-play opportunity, is utterly ignored. Or unknown to the authors.
By the time the background material is laid out, the alleged ‘grim and perilous’ setting bears no resemblance to the period, the conflict, or the society; it is also not very grim, or all that perilous. Basically it becomes a very weak Call of Cthulhu scenario played out in a current-day re-enactment park such as Williamsburg, where period dress is worn but otherwise it is simply 2020.
The only horror this game will inspire will be for those participants who have any sort of grasp of history. While there are not many games set in this period, there are still better alternatives to this product.