Of all the character classes in the AD&D game, the class of monks is the most difficult to qualify for. A monk must have exceptional strength, wisdom, and dexterity, and -- if he or she wishes to survive for very long -- constitution.The "cheating methods" Meyers references are those listed on page 11 of the DMG, under the header "Generation of Ability Scores." There, Gygax notes that
The odds of rolling up such a character, even using the various "cheating methods" listed in the Dungeon Masters Guide, are not favorable.
While it is possible to generate some fairly playable characters by rolling 3d6, there is often an extended period of attempts at finding a suitable one due to the quirks of the dice. Furthermore, rather marginal characters tend to have a short life expectancy -- which tends to discourage new players, as does have to make do with some character of a race and/or class which he or she really can't or won't identify with. Character generation, then, is a serious matter, and it is recommended that the following systems be used.Method I is 4d6, discard the lowest, and arrange to taste. Method II is roll 3d6 12 times, pick the six highest, and arrange to taste. Method III is roll 3d6 in order six times for each ability score and take the highest result. Method IV is 3d6 in order but enough times to generate 12 characters and choose the character one likes best.
I've railed against both these methods and the rationale behind them before, so I won't do so again here. What I find interesting, though, is that Meyers explicitly deems these methods "cheating," a feeling I myself shared back in the day. I find it interesting not because Meyers agrees with my, but because it's a case where I think at least part of the culture of D&D players had come to accept a style of play that was not only counter to what Gygax had actually written but that was also counter to the way that Gygax and the Lake Geneva crew apparently played.
As I understand it, many of the Greyhawk players were unrepentant power gamers, rolling and re-rolling until they got the "right" array of ability scores for their characters. This is a behavior I never encountered in my own early days, brought up as I was on the sacredness of the notion of 3d6-in-order, no exceptions. Outside of the DMG, this was the rule in every D&D rulebook I'd ever seen until 3e, which formalized the 4d6-drop-the-lowest. But clearly this was not an approach Gygax continued to find conducive, as it is nowhere canonized in any AD&D rulebook and indeed is noted as being sub-optimal.