Earlier editions of D&D would especially benefit from a "monster construction kit" more than a Monster Manual. The Referee's manual for Lamentations of the Flame Princess -- and the author's latest video (NSFW) -- argues that a standard list of monsters takes the mystery and surprise out of confronting something unnatural. "Oh a skeleton, ho hum; melee weapons only because arrows pass right through. Oh, a Type V demon; avoid its six swords and coils." While LotFP tends toward low-magic grim worlds, unknown or little-known monsters keeps a high-magic world from becoming stale or cramped. All or nearly all of the writers in "Appendix N" made stuff up as they went along, and DMs should be able to do so too.
Last edited by fmitchell; 04-30-2012 at 06:42 AM.
"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
- Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)