Over at the Forge, there's some discussion about harm, BDtP, and, a long while back, there was more discussion about how weapons and armor work.
Here's the thing:
Everyone says The Shadow of Yesterday is an awesome, awesome game. People have called it "the perfect game", and so so many people have had so much fun playing it. It won a bigass award a few years ago.
And yet, it seems like a whole bunch of pretty important rules in the game are not really understood. Why do I say that? Because a bunch of people start talking about them and suddenly realize that they all interpreted them differently.
For instance, even Eero Tuovinen, the author of the Solar System booklet (which clarifies a lot of things left a little murky in the original text) had a totally different interpretation of how weapons and armor works from Clinton R. Nixon. He was certainly not alone in that respect.
In the last few days, a discussion about Harm started up on the Arkenstone Publishing forum, and it seems to be revealing that no two people track and apply Harm the same way. And this is many years after the publication of the game itself... how is it that this never came up before (at least, not on the CRN forum, as far as I can see)?
Clinton has stated in the past that some of the ambiguity in the game text was put there on purpose, to allow each group to find their own interpretation.
So, what's the deal? Can a game be great even though so many people interpret it differently? Can a game be great because of this very feature? Or should a game text always be crystal-clear in its descriptions? How does Harm actually work, anyway?