The uberdungeon of the ’90s, TSR’s Ruins of Undermountain, is getting the floors redone and a new coat of paint in a series of web articles on the WotC site. Now this is the way to bring a mind-numbingly large, sprawling dungeon to the the gamer masses: in bite-sized chunks, for free. Don’t go for the world record and cram every single beast with an experience point value into a boxed set or kobold-crushing tome. AEG’s already tried that, and spent too much time on shoehorning the SRD’s beasts into the World’s Largest Dungeon, while not spending enough time editing.
Besides, challenging Undermountain for the title of biggest dungeon crawl means taking on TSR in its heyday. Any similar dungeon would be challenging not only the boxed set and follow-up products, but the pile of Waterdeep-themed sourcebooks, novels, and other materials (including its own boxed set, no less). A trip to eBay or the used games bin at a local store, and any D&D gamer could have a far more compelling reason to invest precious gaming time in such a massive undertaking. A few conversions and updates, and suddenly Undermountain claims more victims, with the web articles adding extra zest.
Yep, free updates harking back to a solid adventure idea are the way to go with Undermountain. I find it encouraging that WotC knows better than to slam retailers with another $50+ dungeon that few gamers would pick up, and fewer still would have time to make proper use of.