I didn't think I'd have to write this, but certain people have PMed me so I want to put it in writing, here, for all to read.
The impetus for this post is the OOC thread's discussion of the potential harm in having a "monster" as a PC. I ended that discussion, or at least I've tried to, and my reasons are, perhaps, not what you think.
There are two ways I can DM a game. With the first, I provide a list of books as "official" rules of this campaign and allow zero deviation. Any rules concerns are sent to the ultimate authority (the books). Any time the rules are unclear, I decide, and we move on. No discussion is needed. To me, this is very dry and flies in the face of role-playing's open-ended freedom. Frankly, I won't do it.
The second way for me to DM is to use books as guides and allow variance, open to a lot of creativity. Certainly this introduces mixed interpretations and discussions. This is good for the game. We have some passionate players here and passionate people need a voice. However, one thing passionate people often don't realize is the apathy of the dispassionate. If two people have a pages-long debate, whether it be civil or otherwise, the other five will begin to tune it out, skip whole posts or sections. What if, in the middle of a great debate about draw tensions on compound bows, I post a rules clarification that Stik misses because he had to skim through a healthy argument he wasn't terribly interested in?
Therein lies the destruction I referenced. No flame war. No incivilities. Just a long topic headed in a non-forward direction.
I will encourage players to discuss rules, but I will not allow it to get out of hand. When I end something, it is for what I perceive to be the better interest of all involved. In the end, it doesn't really matter who is more right than the other(s), but that we can enjoy ourselves. If you know you're right, be happy in that knowledge whether everyone knows it or not. Nod your head and move on with the really fun experience that is the bigger picture.