An idea I read on James’s blog Grognardia long ago, which I quite liked, was what he called “D&D is always right”. Rather than assume the idiot choices the designer of some old module from the 80s made are incorrect, give them the benefit of the doubt! Try and work out how the oddly placed monsters, treasure, and traps fit into a coherent whole. Treat it like a creative exercise and you’ll end up with something good. Wayne Rossi reverse engineering the OD&D setting based on the rule books is a similar pursuit. My dilemma is I can’t actually find this blog post, though i’m sure it exists! Do any of you remember this mythical post?
[Regarding the phrase “D&D is always Right”,] my point has never been, so far as I can recall, about “recovering” the original, hidden meaning of D&D. I’m not sure there is one in many cases. Rather, my point was simply akin to Chesterton’s fence: don’t assume a rule you don’t understand isn’t workable. Assume it is and see where that takes you. — James Maliszewski, 2022, who sadly also has no idea what post i’m talking about.
Update: Thanks to Lucas in the comments, we stumble on this post, which is likely the one I was thinking about: The Glories of Incoherence.