Unicorn:Don’t look back, and don’t run. You must never run from anything immortal; it attracts their attention.
— “The Last Unicorn” (1982)
Once Orcs are not about the ancient threat of Neanderthal dominance,
Once Vampires are not about the nightmare of rape and the violation of our sanctity,
Once the immortal Lich is not about horror of structures of law and tradition which were invented by men who were dead long before we were born,
Once Werewolves are no longer about the terror of our inner animalistic impulses overwhelming us,
Once Zombies are not about our innate and unending fear of the implacable advance of gluttonous death,
then they are just housecats that we can kill from behind the safety of our +2 blade that adds two to our to hit roll, allowing us to strike at the monster if we roll an 8 or higher.
Thank the gods for the Internet Archive Wayback Machine, else I could not have linked to the source blogpost.
8. “Race you can’t win rule.” The game’s monster difficulty should increase slightly faster than the advancement of the [character], given average stats and default equipment, so as to force him to rely upon items and tactics.
The reasoning here is that if the player doesn’t have to rely on randomly-found stuff then [that stuff becomes] unimportant to play. However, if it’s required to have specific items to be successful then many games will be outright unwinnable. The balance between these two poles is what makes random dungeon generation difficult, but it’s also part of what makes random dungeon gameplay interesting….
Let’s begin by looking at the most widespread and celebrated of all mythic monsters—the dragon. This creature, in one guise or another, appears in almost every mythology and has been the subject of many books and countless articles. Perhaps the most intriguing of these examinations is An Instinct for Dragons by anthropologist David E. Jones. Jones argues that the image of the dragon is composed of the salient body parts of three predator species that hunted and killed our tree-dwelling African primate ancestors for about sixty million years. The three predators are the leopard, the python, and the eagle.
— Deadly Powers, pp. 162-63
Regardless of their different sizes, features, and forms, monsters have one trait in common—they eat humans. Whatever else they may do for us psychologically, monsters express—and ex-press—our dread of being torn apart, eviscerated, chewed, swallowed, and then shit out. This shameful fate of those who are eaten is confronted in an African myth in which a giant predatory bird swallows the hero whole day after day and then excretes him. Myth after myth confronts the stark facts of being consumed by a larger creature, obsessively depicting in graphic detail what both monsters and animal predators naturally do—turn humans into excrement. The stories express “the most basic anxiety of every living being”: “being swallowed and eaten.” One sees this anxiety throughout world myth.
— Deadly Powers, p. 158