In a previous post about The Arduin Grimoires, I mentioned my affection for scorpion-tailed Manticores.
I was pleased to see a scorpion-tailed Manticore featured on the front cover of one of my recently-acquired Appendix N books, A Spell For Chameleon, by Piers Anthony.
The idea of a poisonous sting is far more interesting than mere iron spikes flung from the Manticore's tail.
The illustration on the front cover of A Spell For Chameleon almost suggests a sphinx-like role for the Manticore, acting as the gate-keeper into another area of the megadungeon.
The important role of riddle-master has been largely discarded from recent versions of DnD. Players of modern versions of DnD want atmosphere and menace, and monsters that are meant to be vanquished and robbed.
As I mentioned in my earlier post about the Displacer Beast, i'd love to see monster placements that were intended to elicit role-playing, rather than experience point and treasure acquisition.