Cast from Money

Finding your party in a particularly sticky situation? Make like a government and throw money at the problem!

To put simply, these powers don't drain your ammo, mana, or the like; instead they consume your money or similar collected resources. Such an ability may literally require money to work (such as offering a bribe to the enemy or physically tossing coins to attack), or else it simply reduces your cash with each use.

Given that money is a consumable, sometimes scarce resource (though still more available than your precious Hit Points), Casting From Money should be somewhat more powerful than standard attacks — or else the player wouldn't bother. On the other hand, making such a move too powerful can create a Game Breaker, especially if using it allows you to earn more than you spend.

Occasionally can be justified through Practical Currency. Often a form of Gameplay and Story Segregation, if the money is permanently consumed even when the ability does not necessarily destroy it (like tossing coins).

Note: simply buying a power or an attack does not count as this trope.

Compare Cast from Hit Points. See also Cash Gate, Throwing the Distraction. Often used to reduce the impact of Money for Nothing.

Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • In The Daichis: Earth Defence Family, the special weapons made available to the family cost money for each use, and they have to learn to fight without them to avoid going over budget.
  • In Rumiko Takahashi's manga RIN-NE, several characters have access to powers that literally use money as ammunition; the hero seldom uses his due to being broke.
  • A cyborg assasin in Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex uses coins for her shotgun-style Arm Cannon. She does this because she hates rich people and capitalism and loves the Irony of killing them with money.
  • One episode of Naruto has a wannabe shinobi from a wealthy family using money instead of chakra to pay subordinates to emulate jutsu.
  • Deals in [C] - Control work like this. Both Direct and Flations require money to be used. Richer Entrepreneurs are typically the strongest.
  • Shirojiro Bertoni in Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere has a Shinto contract explicitly allows him to buy power from others and use it as his own.

Literature
  • The Night of Wishes: Liquid money was one of the ingredients needed for the Notion Potion.
  • A variant in The Stormlight Archive. Everyone on the world of Roshar uses tiny gemstone chips for currency, and those gemstones are the only things that can capture and store the titular Stormlight. Since Stormlight fuels both the mystical Surgebindings of the Knights Radiant, and the Magitek fabrials, magic expends money to work.
    • In addition, if you draw too much power through a fabrial gemstone, the gem will crack into smaller and less valuable shards, decreasing its total worth.
    • Unlike most examples on this page, drawing Stormlight from a gem doesn't normally cause it any harm, so its fundamental value is unaffected. However, one probably won't be able to spend depleted gemstones because others will assume they're counterfeit. Just wait for it to be recharged, however, and it's good as new again.
  • Allomancers in Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn: The Original Trilogy generally use copper coins as ammunition. Justified in that coins are just about the perfect weight and size. In addition, nearly all Allomancers are filthy rich and can afford to throw away a few handfuls of change for use in combat.
  • The Dresden Files: Lacking powdered diamond as a Love Potion ingredient in Storm Front, Harry shreds a $50 bill for the potion instead. The actual substance of the ingredient is less important than its symbolism as an item of value.

Tabletop RPG
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Some spells require material components to cast, with the more powerful spells requiring components of nontrivial value, such as "a diamond worth <x>", going up to thousands of gold pieces. When the spell is cast, the components disappear as they power the spell.
      Apprentice: Master, I talked the shopkeeper down to only 400 gp for the rubies!
      Master: Great, but the spell calls for 500 gp worth, so go back in and buy more.
    • Third edition has a magic item crafting system based around expending money, as opposed to the previous system based on Fetch Quests.
    • Judges Guild adventure Dark Tower (1979). The artifact called The Mind of Balance drains the value from items (gold, gems, jewelry) to power its healing ability. Items which have been drained become worthless dross, glass, etc.
    • One player found a loophole, DM permit, in which the party simply sells cheaper amounts to each other for 500 gp.
    • Fourth edition's rituals are basically all like this. Being able to work ritual magic itself is just a matter of the right feat that even members of traditionally "nonmagical" classes can take, but the rituals themselves and their components for every casting must be bought with cash.
    • The 1st Edition Dungeon Master's Guide had rules for creating magical artifacts and relics. One potential drawback of such an item was having to sacrifice 10,000-60,000 gold pieces worth of gems/jewelry to activate the item for one day.
    • The BECMI D&D Master Set, "Master DM's Book" had two possible handicaps for Immortal Artifacts that worked this way.
      • "Operating Costs". From 1-50% of the user's treasure was consumed by the artifact to power itself, either when the artifact was first used or for each use of a power.
      • "Recharging Costs". Each time the artifact needed to recharge its energy it had to be fed a source of power. This could include a specific type of treasure (such money or magic items) or any kind of treasure.
  • A class specialty in Unknown Armies has you literally burning cash for magic.
  • Not a specific spell, but Magic: The Gathering does have one sorcery and one creature that turn creatures into Gold (both being allusions to the Theros equivalent of the King Midas myth). You can then use that gold as Mana to pay for spells.

Video Games
  • In Red Alert 3, the Allies Spies have a skill that converts a nearby enemy unit to his side, for a price. It's the only money-draining skill in the game.
  • In MapleStory, there is a skill called Meso Explosion, which explodes the mesos (the currency in the game) dropped on the ground around you to attack monsters.
  • In several of the Castlevania games, the powerful secondary weapons often cost Hearts (which double as currency in some early games) to use.
  • A staple of 4X games. In Civilization and its sequels, for example, the player can perform espionage actions that cost a lump sum proportionate to their difficulty or usefulness, such as research theft or the covert capture of an enemy city. Additionally, under certain governments, it is possible to rush production by paying citizens.
  • Certain RTS titles, such as Emperor: Battle for Dune, have a system where the player can make instant purchases of units independently from the normal production queue.
  • Used heavily in Ganbare Goemon. Your basic ranged attack involves literally throwing coins at your enemies, and later, the magic attacks and power upgrade all draw directly from your finances.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • In the original Legend of Zelda, shooting the bow costs one rupee. However, in addition to getting the bow as a dungeon item, you also have to buy the arrow from a shop as a separate item to actually use the bow. Also, this game predates the series becoming infamous for Money for Nothing; rupees are not easy to come by and only come in denominations of one and five, plus your wallet caps at 255. Prepare to spend lots of time gathering rupees before each dungeon to stay armed.
    • Lacking the magic meter of many other games, the magic armor in Twilight Princess drains your wallet at a extremely fast rate. Of course, Awkward Zombie had to cover this one.
    • The Wind Waker HD actually changes the magic armor to work this way, presumably to balance the item, as you could simply carry magic-restoring potions around otherwise. But it's less useless than in Twilight Princess because it only drains money upon getting hit.
  • In Metro 2033, post-apocalyptic society uses bullets as currency. Specifically, irreplaceable pre-catastrophe bullets which are much better than what can be manufactured now; hence you can get a damage boost by literally firing your money at the enemy.
  • Final Fantasy features a recurring skill called Gil Toss. It lets you attack all enemies by literally throwing money at them, costing you gil.
    • Final Fantasy X has the Aeon Yojimbo, whose attacks are entirely dependent on giving him money. Give him enough money, and he will One-Hit Kill any enemy in the game, including bosses.
      • X also featured Bribe as a skill. You could pay Y amount to make enemies flee the battle. If you paid a certain amount (depending on the enemies) they would automatically drop rare items, which made it a very useful skill for getting components for Item Crafting.
    • Final Fantasy XII features an accessory that makes spells cost gil to cast instead of MP.
  • Exit Fate has a Bribe mechanic which allows you to always-successfully avoid a battle.
  • Oracle of Tao has such a skill as a Limit Break.
  • Pokémon:
    • Inverted with the move Pay Day, that actually generates money for the player to collect.
    • Played straight with Pokémon Rumble's rendition of Fling, which has you chuck about 10% of your money (capping at 1K) for a decent amount of damage.
  • SimCity 4 lets you live out this trope by driving down the streets in the mayoral limo, throwing money (straight from the public coffers) to boost your mayor rating.
  • Tales of the Abyss: One of Anise's Mystic Artes, Fever Time, showers the battlefield in giant coins, ending with blowing the enemies up with fireworks. It costs 20,000 Gald to use.
  • InWario Land: Super Mario Land 3, Wario can convert ten normal coins in his possession into a special "10 gold coin" that he can throw at enemies — and then run in and collect again, because he's a greedy guy, of course. Useful in the absence of other mooks he can pick up and throw, and required to open the exit gate in most levels (demonstrated in the first level).
  • In Assassin's Creed II, one special move involves tossing cash to the ground, which can be used to distract the unalerted guards or create a commotion on the streets to slow down pursuit.
  • Freedroid RPG spell-like programs merely cause heating, but equipment enhancement consumes Valuable Circuits comonly used as currency by hundreds.
  • Some Dragon Quest games have a skill that allows a Merchant-vocation character to summon an merchant army to assault the player, which requires some of the player's money to use.
    • Dragon Quest IX has the Gold Rush skill, which spends 1000 gold coins to "do some distinctive damage" to the enemy. (It looks like piles of money falling onto the monsters!)
  • Dungeons of Dredmor has this with some of the Bankster skills. Insurance Fraud allows you to gain back money when attacking a target; Hire Contractor temporarily converts a monster to your side; and Fiscal Hedge causes some damage to affect your money instead of your HP.
  • In World of Warcraft, many spells originally required expensive reagents. In Wrath of the Lich King, they became affordable through Ridiculous Future Inflation, and in Cataclysm most reagents were eliminated.
  • Although it's not immediately obvious, Million Gunman in No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle actually uses up rolled up wads of cash as ammunition for his guns, as can be seen from the large clouds of floating bills whenever you get hit by them. Then again, considering that bills fly out of any enemy you stomp repeatedly or cut in half with your Beam Katana, his choice of weaponry isn't really that surprising.
  • Terraria added the Coin Gun in its 1.2 update, which fires coins from your inventory as ammunition and deals damage according to their value. Its damage can range from being moderately acceptable with the lowest valued coins, to being the hands-down strongest weapon in the game... for a few seconds.
  • Legaia II: Duel Saga has the "Gold Siphon" skill, which increases the character's attack power at the cost of draining 100 G per strike.
  • The Merchant job from Bravely Default has a lot of abilities that use the party's money. "Pay to Play" sharply boosts the user's Critical Hit chance, and "Takeover" is a Fixed Damage Attack where the user throws a large ball of coins at the enemy.
  • Ragnarok Online also has a Merchant class skills that make use of Zeny, the in-game currency. Two of them, in fact. The first one is the basic skill called Mammonite, which has a distinct animation of scattering coins. The second is a Mastersmith skill called High Speed Cart Ram which requires both Zeny and a pushcart.
  • In Ancient Domains of Mystery, all classes can throw gold pieces, but only the Merchant class can turn it into effective missiles, particularly against their own doppelgangers, which confuses them.
  • Phantasy Star Online's "Charge" Special weapons. For 200 Meseta per hit, you get to deal 1.5x extra damage. One of the most popular and effective weapons isn't the super rare Infinity+1 Sword of the game, it's a mundane normal mechgun with the Charge special on it. Another special weapon takes 10,000 Meseta per swing, but deals 3 times as much damage!
  • The first Dungeon Keeper didn't feature a separate mana pool: ALL your spells were fueled by the money in your Dungeon Heart or Treasury. Which is more important, getting out more imps so that you can expand your dungeon faster, or setting up rooms? On maps with small amounts of gold around your starting area, this was a very important choice.
  • The Rain-Doh Orange Agent in Kingdom of Loathing is a special combat item; unlike most other items, it is not consumed when used. However, using it requires a nominal amount of meat to use. Still, it is useful when you need to make sure that your attack hits.
  • Payday 2 has a variant: you can now whack people on the head with a stack of Benjamins. It's weaker than using your fists (you need to use it twice to break thin glass), but the sheer ludicrousness of the situation causes trained special ops to fall down in surprise.
  • One of the DLCs for Saints Row IV gives the player superpowers that do this, on top of also turning enemies and civilians into money.
  • In Halo Wars the Prophet of Regret can summon a sustained energy beam from orbit at the cost of resources.
  • Similar to the Final Fantasy examples, Chrono Cross has the character Van with his level 7 tech PiggyBoink, which grows in power depending on how much money you deposit in his piggy bank, up to a maximum 27% power boost if you deposit 900G. However, it also gains a chance of breaking as you fill it more, resetting its attack to zero.
  • Some Hexes in Dark Souls II consume souls, which are both the game's currency and experience points. The soul-using hexes can be cast while out of souls too, though for severely diminished effect. One hex in particular, Climax, will consume ALL of the player's currently held souls, though once fully powered by souls it will nearly guarantee to one-shot other players in Pv P, where it is most useful.
    • It depends on the player whether the increased damage output is worth it, given the game's soul memory system.
  • In the Endless series (Endless Space, Endless Legend, Dungeon Of The Endless), the Practical Currency "Dust" is used as a currency by all races bar the Harmony. Dust is also used to fuel Hero Unit special abilities in combat, instantly heal heroes, and instantly construct buildings and starships. The Broken Lords in Legend take it to the next level in that they are made of money, being suits of Animated Armor with their souls bound by Dust; rather than use food or population growth, they literally build new citizens with Dust.
  • Among the mix-and-match fighting styles in Mabinogi is throwing pouches of gold, with all the force implied by using hundreds of gold coins as a projectile, unrecoverable because the technique also turns the pouch into an explosive grenade. While it takes substantial time to charge to full power (and you're clearly bouncing the slowly growing moneybag in your hand), it can be a devastating opening strike for a presently low-level character, especially with luck - and high luck also tends to speed up gold acquisition. It's taught in-game to merchants (said class is noted for a high luck stat) or characters known to enough of the NPC banking community, and is explicitly described as designed for the sort of person who'd rather just throw money at all their problems.
  • In the Fallout series, bottle caps are used as currency, but you can also use them to craft Bottlecap mines, which are landmines that explode in a hail of bottle caps when detonated to inflict damage. Lampshaded by one character in Fallout: New Vegas who remarks that it's a waste of money to use bottle caps that way. In Fallout 4, you can actually recover some of the bottle caps after the mines explode.
    • In Fallout: New Vegas, you can also craft shotgun shells with Legion Denarii, using the silver coins as replacement for shot. There's even a chance that the money be recovered from killed enemies, though there's also a chance the coin is mangled and is worth less. The coins used for the shells also factor in for their sell price.
    • Fallout 3 and Fallout 4 both have a weapon (called the Rock-It Launcher in 3, and the Junk Jet in 4) that lets you load any kind of useless Vendor Trash into it and fire it at your enemies. The most useful thing to use as ammo for it is Pre-War Money, because it weighs nothing, allowing you to carry a large amount of it, and it does the same amount of damage as anything else fired from it.

Western Animation
  • In an episode of South Park, a cure for AIDS is discovered. It involves taking large amounts of money, putting it in a blender, pureeing it, and then drinking the result.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CastFromMoney