Hey! Thanks for your questions. I’ll answer in order:
- You are correct that there is no quantitative harm mechanic and it should be handled narratively. You got it exactly that operations and fights with Imminent Threats are stressors to focus on Hilts, their relationships and those getting pushed to the edge (and delimiting). I’m working on a supplement right now, though, that will add a damage mechanic to make operations a bit crunchier—look out for that if it’s something you’re interested in!
- You for sure can look to other games for guidance with MCing. I basically had Monsterhearts 2 open the whole time I was writing. I’m working on a widescreen layout and plan to expand on a lot of the text (the primary version is the zine, so it’s necessarily limited), so there’ll be more MC/less guidance coming soon(ish).
- Yes, shifting Levels should make sense in context, but the Levels are quite broad and, in a way, arbitrary. They could also be adjusted sort of in reaction to: “Oh, this approach went bad for you, so we’re going to push in the other direction;” “Actually? I’m going to reinforce this because you’re pissed off, right? Maybe you need to be more reactionary!” Neither MCs nor players can shift more than two Levels and they have to be in the opposite direction. Shifting Levels means raising one and lowering another by one each, i.e. if the MC shifts their Levels, they could add 1 to any one Level and they would have to subtract 1 from one of the other two Levels.
Hope that helps! Feel free to ask more questions as you think of them.