My home group’s Avalon game is, as most of you know, made up of gamers with many decades of D&D/overall gaming experience. I’ve found that if I lean into the DCC idea of describing the creatures instead of naming them, I’m still able to shock/surprise them and keep them guessing what exactly is is that they are fighting.
Those who played in my BS’er one shot Avalon game months back will recall the Kuo-toa planting eggs in people and such. So I’m totally ripping off Lovecraft’s descriptions of Deep Ones (hopping, braying, bleating, fish-frog creatures wearing hats and pants), doing everything I can to avoid naming the creatures. And it’s working wonderfully - The group isn’t sure what they are ever after three sessions of dealing with them.
I ask them and they thought, “Slaad?” Which made me happy that I can still surprise them