Clearly, as a reasoning adult I would never want to replicate that experience. But I am still today intrigued by the idea of playing a "monster" as a PC. And this is an idea that has some basis in certain early edition D&D games (OD&D, Holmes Basic) but is soundly trounced in AD&D. Let's summarize.
|What? I can't play a succubus?|
"Other Character Types: There is no reason that players cannot be allowed to play as
virtually anything, provided they begin relatively weak and work up to the top, i.e., a
player wishing to be a Dragon would have to begin as let us say, a "young" one and
progress upwards in the usual manner, steps being predetermined by the campaign
This passage from Men & Magic has a relatively encouraging tone, stating there is "no reason" not to try it. It also lists the restrictions, which makes sense to me. Since there are no other rules dealing with this topic in OD&D, it would presumably require a creative DM. But still - it's allowable.
"At the Dungeon Master's discretion a character can be anything his or her player wants him to be. Characters must always start out inexperienced and relatively weak and build on their experience. Thus, an expedition might include, in addition to the four basic classes and races (human, elven, dwarven, halflingish), a centaur, a lawful werebear, and a Japanese Samurai fighting man."
This passage from Holmes Basic is clearly similar to OD&D and gives some very specific examples. Note that it suggests a "lawful werebear," which seems to indicate that a monster is OK only if it's basically of "good" alignment.
The concept of monster characters is not even mentioned in B/X.
AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide (1979)
Amazingly, Gary Gygax takes a complete flip-flop on his position on monster PCs in AD&D. He spends a full page (!) formulating his argument that humans are the dominant species in D&D and that it would take an impossibly creative DM with "decades" of time at his disposal to create a world setting that is appropriate for monsters to adventure in.
Here are some rather pointed, some may say scathing, passages from the DMG:
"On occasion one player or another will evidence a strong desire to operate as a monster, conceiving a playable character as a strong demon, a devil, a dragon, or one of the most powerful sort of undead creatures. This is done principally because the player sees the desired monster character as superior to his or her peers and likely to provide a dominant role for him or her in the campaign. A moment of reflection will bring them to the unalterable conclusion that the game is heavily weighted towards mankind."
"Those works which do not feature mankind in a central role are uncommon. Those which do not deal with men at all are scarce indeed. To attempt to utilize any such bases as the central, let alone sole, theme for a campaign milieu is destined to be shallow, incomplete, and totally unsatisfying for all parties concerned unless the creator is a Renaissance Man and all-around universal genius with a decade or two to prepare the game and milieu."
"The less intelligent players who demand to play monster characters regardless of obvious consequences will soon remove themselves from play in any event, for their own ineptness will serve to have players or monsters or traps finish them off."
I wonder why Gygax went so strongly in this direction? I have to admit, though. It's fun to read Gygax, especially when he slams stupid players. :)