Finally got my copy of the WLD...
But am I bit shocked at the number of changes and hacks at makes to standard D&D rules:
* No PC teleportation. (The DMG says, "Don't design dungeons that ban fly and teleport spells just because doing so is hard." Why should the paid designers not be held to the guidelines given for amateurs?)
* Don't use the standard XP progression. Use something else instead. Dunno what. The guide says the PCs should advance twice per map, but not what points system to use to ensure they do so.
* No entangle/web spells.
* No summoning spells for PCs.
* No druid PCs.
* No take 10/take 20.
And the PCs are trapped in the dungeon for the entire campaign!
Now all these items are merely recommendations, but I'm still scratching my head. Trapped in the dungeon I'm okay with, though it's not my first choice. But that's a pretty long list of rules changes to be applied to a a frickin' dungeon adventure. Dungeons is what D&D 3.x was designed for, right? Am I the only one who remembers the "Back to the dungeon" tagline for 3.0? I do not understand why someone would tackle a project like the World's Largest Dungeon if they couldn't get it done while sticking to the rules as written. What's the point? The no teleport/no druids/no summonings rule looks like sheer laziness. No web spells? WTF? And screwing with the XP system is asking for trouble. The only changes I would ever brook to the current XP system would be to add ways of earning points. Like re-introducing XP for treasure. I thought it was ass-tastic to remove loot XP from the system. Yes, getting the gold and xp both seems like double dipping, even moreso for magic items and XP. But so what? In my experience chests full o' XPs are a much bigger motiviation for PCs than chests full of mere coins. If anything, the WLD (and maybe dungeoneering games in general) should be giving a bonus for clearing a level, on top of anything else earned the usual ways.
Hmmm. I rushed over here to blog about my indignation over these discoveries. Obviously the people behind WLD can design anything they want, but I'm still worked up that this product doesn't seem to quite meet with my simple expectation that it follow the frickin' rules. My sensibilities are offended. Nevermind the fact that last 3E campaign I wussed out long before anybody could cast teleport. Still, at least this list crazy no-no list gives me things to think about when designing my own dungeon.