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Mode: Monty Haul. Any campaign where the gamemaster doles out huge amounts of experience/treasure/power/other rewards. Usually becomes stupefyingly pointless after the player characters become the most wealthy/powerful beings in the universe.
Jason Sartin, RPG Cliches

Monty Hall (note the lack of a "U") was the host on the game show Let's Make a Deal, which was cancelled before some of you were born. The show could give away massive amounts of prizes to the lucky winner (or cunning or destined-to-win or however they pick winners on game shows).

A Monty Haul campaign (with a "U") was the generic label for a Game Master (and his/her campaign) who would run adventures that were like game show giveaways, except the questions weren't as hard. Players would end up staggering under the loads of gold and gems (except the encumbrance rules often were ignored as well) and cherry-picking which magic items they wanted to keep because they had so many to choose from. Think of Conan the Barbarian with a Star Destroyer.

Also, in the first and second editions of Dungeons & Dragons, Player Characters got Experience Points based on how much money they looted, one to one. So the Monty Haul characters would also end up at stratospheric Character Levels, which would lead to situations in which they were assassinating gods to gain their nifty weapons.

This is a situation most gamers greatly deplore and is sternly discouraged in the Game Master's section of all later games, but it is assumed that everyone went through this stage at some early point in their gaming "careers."

In some other cases though, the Monty Haul game master may be a case of Suspicious Game Master Generosity since sometimes they may take it to bring upon an already dangerous foe and give him a slew of new tricks or has their stats tweaked for whatever to get ready for a tougher battle.

Many video games seem to either encourage or require the sort of player (or the sort of game play) who would take a broom to a dungeon, to make sure he swept up all the coins.

In video games, Monty Haul levels are sometimes confined to DLC, overlapping with Bribing Your Way to Victory.

The opposite of this is the Killer Game Master, who delivers death and horror to the PCs in place of treasure and godlike power.

This doesn't have much to do with the Monty Hall Problem, a probability puzzle whose name also comes from the game show host.


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    Comic Strips 
  • In Knights of the Dinner Table, the seasoned, regular GMs generally either run balanced campaigns or go the opposite direction of this trope. However, when Bob or Dave step behind the screen to run a game, the amount of loot goes way up.

  • The Destinyquest gamebook series by Michael J. Ward had as a template, computer games like World of Warcraft and Diablo - games where finding lots of treasure and magic items are a big part of their appeal. As such every time you win a fight, you will always be able to loot something off your enemy - often a magical item of sort. What prevents this from getting too out of control, is that your character has a very limited carrying capacity. Additionally, many items are restricted by character class. So in the series, you'll be constantly throwing away items that other adventurers would die for.
  • Guardians of the Flame: Averted. The GM tries to give the characters a big pile of magic items at the start to make the quest a piece of cake, but a panicky Lou accidentally blows them up with a lightning spell. Not quite his fault, since he was told at the gaming table to prepare one 'just in case' due to the shift in starting points, suffered a head injury when they were transposed and just let loose with the lightning bolt due to his confusion.

  • Griffin of The Adventure Zone leaves a small fortune in Gold Pieces and a useful pair of magical boots lying on conveniently pre-dead dwarves, just waiting to be picked up. If only Merle wasn't such a prude about looting the dead....

    Video Games 
  • The Diablo series and the majority of its clones tend to be like this in the end game. Bosses and major loot caches will often release a screen-filling fountain of gold and enchanted gear- from which players will pick the one or two of the very best pieces and leave the rest lying on the floor. At early levels, however, the player will want to keep anything that's better than the standard vendor gear. For a game where the whole point is to constantly upgrade your equipment, the progression is fairly even.
  • A lot of user-created modules or modifications for Neverwinter Nights are simple dispensers of XP and loot. Many of them who have actual plot can also fall into this due to being made by non-professionals.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • Generally Zig-Zagged throughout the series in terms of monetary quest rewards, leading to many asking Dude, Where's My Reward? in these cases. Typically, the amount of gold you are paid for completing a task is far too low to make it worthwhile on its own. There are countless examples of being sent off to a ruin or cave to slay a particular foe (and his dozen or so Mooks) only to be rewarded with a paltry sum of gold that doesn't even cover the potions, arrows, and weapon/armor repairs you used in the process. Luckily, whoever it was you were killing usually has enough loot on their bodies and in their lair to sell and still come out ahead.
    • Played straight by quests that offer artifact level items as rewards. These are typically high end faction questlines and Daedric quests, and the items themselves are typically some of the very best available in the game. Morrowind's Tribunal expansion adds another layer to this as well - you can sell these legendary items to the Mournhold Museum for huge sums of money. Selling the artifiacts is otherwise impractical, as even the richest merchants only have perhaps 1/10 of the items value in gold on hand while bartering is tedious and still likely to leave you with less gold than the value of the item.
    • These are extremely popular in the series' massive Game Modding community. Install a few of them for any given game and you'll quickly find yourself absolutely bombarded by god-level artifacts, abilities, companions, player houses, and even titles of nobility which quickly destroy any semblance of balance, not to mention reason and immersion.
  • Many badly made designs for Unlimited Adventures shower the characters with money. One design in particular (From Beggars to Heroes) was content to throw thousands of money at you for the meekest reason. (For example, as poor beggars in the starting town, you can walk around and meet an unlimited number of rich people every few steps who will shower you with riches every time.) Oh, and you get experience for these, too.
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R. also had its share of mods which purported to 'improve' the gameplay but in the process dumped some of the game's best weapons and gear into the player's arms near the very beginning. Kind of ruins the 'scavenge and survive' experience when your stuff is already better than everyone else's...
  • Dungeon Siege encouraged this by adding pack mules and Traggs, creatures with above normal carrying capacity, but minimal fighting capability. Naturally it's a tradeoff between combat power and hauling size.
  • Fable, while in itself the game isn't a Monty Haul, if you spend an hour or two doing a job to afford some real estate, the returns on the investment are used to buy more real estate (which pays you every five minutes) eventually become so huge that you have so much money you have no idea what to do with it all.
  • Fallout:
    • Fallout 3:
      • The Operation: Anchorage DLC takes the player through a short, relentlessly linear, and relatively easy (depending on character build) campaign, at the end of which you're awarded with a treasure trove of goodies not available anywhere in the core game.
      • Ditto the Mothership Zeta DLC. Powerful alien weapons, weapon repair epoxy, crystals that can be sold for a motherload of caps, etc.
      • The Pitt DLC includes the Steel Ingot Fetch Quest. Every 10 you turn in (up to 100) rewards you with increasingly better gear. Better yet, if you turn in all 100 in your first trip, they will be weightless as they are considered quest items at that point.
    • Fallout: New Vegas:
      • In the vanilla game, the Black Jack tables and Slot Machines in New Vegas are ridiculously easy ways to clean out every casino that has these minigames and earn up to 100,000 caps, as long as you have high luck (7 or more).
      • Dead Money can be a trying DLC, but the rewards are enormous — to such an extent that there are still accusations made that it broke the game's internal economy due to showering the player in money. If you take the time to win as much money as possible from the Sierra Madre Casino, you'll get an automatic 1100 Sierra Madre chips every three in-game days ad infinitum, which you trade for stacks of stimpaks, chems, and weapon repair kits. In addition to that, there's also the Sierra Madre Snowglobe (which, at max Luck, awards the player the equivalent of 20,000 caps), gold bars you can haul out of the Madre's vault and powerful weapons like the Automatic Rifle and Holorifle (the latter of which doesn't degrade when used with regular ammo).
      • Upon finishing Honest Hearts, you'll obtain a chest full of powerful loot, including a very-overpowered unique Power Fist for Veronica. There's also a set of Desert Ranger Armor and a Survivalist's Rifle, which can be found in a sidequest and aren't normally found in the main game except on high-level NCR rangers.
      • Just by finishing Old World Blues and obtaining all the upgrades for the Sink, you can get several immensely useful benefits: passive bonuses whenever you rest, your own seed farm (where you can grow and create virtually anything in the game), several implants that provide a host of ancillary benefits, and all the spare skill magazines you could want. The DLC also gives several perks that seem specifically designed for dealing with Cazadores, a set of powerful stealth armor, the best silenced sniper rifle in the game, and several Jury-Rigged Energy Rifles that can chainsaw through enemies like butter.
      • Lonesome Road is the biggest haul of them all. Aside from the fact that it straddles the line between a Disc-One Nuke and a Game-Breaker (you can come and go from the Divide at any time in the game), you can obtain many powerful sets of armor (including Elite Desert Ranger and military armor variants), upgrades for ED-E (which make it a Game-Breaker in the base game), an insanely-powerful Deathclaw Gauntlet if you can beat the superboss, and if you make a certain decision during the ending, you get access to two other areas that offer unlimited high-level weapons, tons of rare ammunitions and two incredibly-powerful sets of armor (Scorched Sierra Power Armor and Armor of the 12th Tribe), not to mention a chest full of unique and customized weapon pieces.
    • Fallout 4 has the Vault-Tec Workshop DLC, which adds Vault 88 to the game. A short questline has you aid the Overseer in recruiting residents to the Vault and then conducting a variety of experiments on them. Each experiment mission follows the pattern of "build an experimental object, set a parameter on it, and test it on a resident". Only one of the four experiment missions even requires that you leave the Vault, while all four pay out a base of 350xp upon completion. (An experience payout comparable to main quest missions which are all far more involved.) In addition to the experience rewards, Vault 88 has an epic amount of settlement salvage which will leave you wanting for very few building materials for the rest of the game (including rare Nuclear Material due to the Vault's uranium deposits). Additionally, after completing the experiments, you can build new happiness-increasing technology at all of your settlements. (If you chose the least reprehensible experiment options for each, there is literally no downside to building them either.) Finally, upon taking over as Overseer at the end of the quest line, you can use the Overseer's Terminal to gain a semi-permanent +1 increase to your Intelligence.
  • Path of Exile produces so many items from killing monsters, the game expects you to install a custom filter to hide the least useful ones. Going without can lead to the screen literally filling with item popups.
  • Borderlands is this, but it's an odd example since Shop Fodder, Randomly Drops and (at the end of the game) Money for Nothing/Money Sink are all in play. Interestingly Borderlands loot drop essentially started the whole "loot shooter" subgenre of 1st and 3rd person shooter games where part of the fun is going through Monty Haul levels of guns and armour and keeping the best stuff.
  • In the Dragon Age series:
    • Dragon Age: Origins has the "Soldier's Peak DLC". Accept a quest, spend 10 minutes mowing down underpowered Mooks, and proceed to a vendor offering the best weapons and armor in the game. Granted, you might have to spend another 10 minutes mowing down money spiders and selling off their Shop Fodder... Still, the DLC takes about an hour to get through and is fairly difficult. And by the time you'll be able to afford and use that vendor's high-level equipment, you'll damn well need it.
    • Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening also throws more money at the player then they may know what to do with. This is in stark contrast to the original campaign, where money is quite tight (barring DLCs and a single developer oversight that requires a lot of loading screens). Players new to the expansion may be shocked to find quest related NPCs requesting of them things on the order of dozens of gold pieces to commission some sort of order—a small fortune in the original campaign, pocket change in Awakening. With so much money available, you wonder why the Warden doesn't just hire a couple hundred mercenary soldiers to build up Amaranthine's otherwise vastly outnumbered forces.
    • Dragon Age: Inquisition is pretty good at keeping a tight budget, but The Descent DLC takes the cake for more or less showering you with expensive Shop Fodder that adds up to six-digit numbers on your Inquisitorial bank account if you just keep hauling it back to the surface. Potentially justified, as you essentially plunder a abandoned ancient dwarven city that hasn't seen a looter in a thousand years.
  • The Architect Entertainment buildings in City of Heroes were created to allow players to write their own story arcs for other players to enjoy. Among most of the community, however, it's better known for its "farm" missions, as they're called. It reached to the point where some farms had earned "Hall of Fame" status for having so many favorable ratings among players. The earliest farms would take advantage of exploits to allow characters to go from creation to level cap in a single day of beating up defenseless enemies for disproportionately high XP. Naturally, the devs did not take kindly to this, and closed such loopholes whenever they find them, even banning the most egregious exploiters of them. Newer farms aren't quite as efficient, and are not cracked down upon as forcefully. Another side-effect is that the XP for player-created enemies ended up up being slashed due to farmers making silly, weak enemies, and this resulted in a lot of otherwise creative story arcs with custom enemy groups going largely unplayed because of the "custom characters" stigma that resulted.
  • In the MMO Star Trek Online, it was ridiculously easy to gain the best gear and equipment for little risk via earning special ingame currency, and via crafting said gear using easily farmed resources called "data samples". Also any dropped gear that's rare but you don't need can be sold on the player exchange for insane amounts of ingame currency. Many players become multi-millionaires this way, making said currency practically worthless - save for some special items like rare bridge officers that boost your in-space abilities (only one type which is so rare that it sells for millions on its own). This was later changed for crafting when the game went free-to-play. Crafting high level items now requires Dilithium which can only be produced in quantities of 8,000 a day, and most items require around 12,000 Dilithium to craft. Only players willing to spend real money on the game to trade it to others for Dilithium can really craft the high level items.
  • In Baldur's Gate 2, you couldn't throw a rock into a dungeon without it bouncing off at least a half-dozen magical goodies.
    • You don't even need to go that far from the start of the game to get Lilarcor, an Infinity Minus One Two-Handed Sword that'll easily last you most of the game at the least. Then again, you'll need as much help as you can get.
    • Firkraag's Dungeon (Chapter 2) in particular had a metric ton of unique loot, including a +3 bow, a Dragon helm/shield/sword/scales (all with bonus resistances), Full Plate Mail +1, the best two-handed sword in the game (Carsomyr) note , a shield cloak, not to mention a ton of ammunition and various minor weapons. Any party that ventures in will find enough gear to make a killing on the resale market.
    • For a savvy party, going into Watcher's Keep in the Amn part and stealthing your way past most of the enemies on the first two floors will net you tons of +3 and +4 weapons and ammo to sell, long before you'd get anything else in the main plotline that compares.
    • Throne of Bhaal definitely embraces Power Creep, with regular merchants selling tons of +3 (or even better) weapons like they were chips. And the fact that you have the "wall" of purchasing them is irrelevant: by this time thanks to corpse looting you definitely swim in gold that you might wonder why don't you rent your own personal army, equipped with the best gear in the world all bought by you, to dwelve with the Five... and we are not counting all the magical items dropped by each boss or found in their lairs.
  • The Pokémon games, starting from Black and White and progressing as it goes on, leads to a great increase in rewards for little effort.
    • Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 has Pokéstar Studios. Releasing a movie rewards you with a variety of items from the NPCs in the theater. These items include things like max revives, full restores, moomoo milk and star pieces, big pearls and nuggets. There is no limit to how many movies you can release and some of the strange endings (the ones that give the best rewards) are available in as little as 1-2 scenes into the movie.
    • In the first pair of Kalos titles, as a mandatory part of the story, you can choose to take on a Pokémon that will completely wreck the rest of the game singlehandedly, about a quarter of the way in. This is not getting into the numerous useful, initially rare items random NPCs will throw at you for no effort on your part other than talking to them.
    • Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire allow players to create their own secret base battle team and share it with other players. Instead of creating custom Gyms as was intended, most players fill their base teams with Lv 100 Blissey knowing only suicide moves and holding Toxic Orbs, to act as easy Exp farms for other players.
    • Pokémon Sword and Shield:
      • The "Top Secret" Pokéjob is the only 10 star job in the game and requests up to a whopping 30 Ghost-type Pokémon to be sent. Do so and have them do an "Exceptional" job, and you'll be rewarded with 15 Big Nuggets, which can be sold for 300,000 Pokédollars. More than enough to purchase everything you could reasonably need for the rest of the game.
      • Max Raids, which for completion award you a pile of Exp. Candies, various Berries and TRs (non-reusable TMs that contain stronger/more useful moves than the reusable ones), along with whatever Mon you happened to catch inside. It's no wonder many players claim the games to be far too easy when farming this for a few hours lets your team be ready for the midgame before you've even fought the first gym.
      • The second act of the Isle of Armor DLC revolves around you training Kubfu, which then evolves into the legendary Urshifu, a Disc-One Nuke with an ability that makes attacks bypass Protect, powerful stats outclassing anything you'll encounter at the level it's possible to obtain it, and a signature move that always results in a critical hit.
  • Deus Ex Universe:
    • This is invoked in-game with the MJ12 Underground Base level. Having been caught and imprisoned underneath UNATCO, your main objective is to escape. Most friendly characters encountered in the base will either give you codes to important places or sell you needed items. There's an armory you can sneak into that has all your gear, along with a ton of ammunition, additional weapons and a rare Plasma Rifle, long before you start finding enemies. And then, when you get up to UNATCO itself, Sam Carter orders you to take as much gear as you can carry, while Shannon (one of the employees) offers to sell you expensive and rare scramble grenades. The only question is not how much you take, but how much you can store in your inventory (barring a glitch that allows you to stack items on top of each other in the menu screen).
    • In Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, the Palisade Bank is made of this. You can access it anytime after leaving Adam's apartment at the beginning of the game. Though it's tough to sneak around effectively, digging enough reveals a boatload of secrets, including additional Praxis Kits, credits and various items — and that's before you get the keycards to the bank vaults, which have even more gear like a unique Combat Rifle, more Praxis Kits and a literal stack of hacking software. Overencumbered doesn't even begin to describe it.
  • This is among the many tropes skewered by The Bard's Tale. Near the beginning, the Bard kills a wolf, whose corpse spews out a ridiculous amount of treasure. The Narrator immediately chimes in, saying that won't be happening any more.
  • Shadowverse: The game is very generous to new players, handing out at least 10 free packs of each expansion to new players in addition to the easily-accomplished achievements with large rupie rewards. Sometimes, bouts of unexpected maintenance or milestone celebrations are followed by free packs.
  • Forza Horizon 4's Fortune Island DLC features the Treasure Hunt, which earns you a total of 10 million credits and unlocks numerous exclusive vehicles.
  • Castlevania games that are modelled after Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, will have your hero dripping with magical items, kitchens worth of food and large fortunes of gold dropped from candles. Games that are spiritual successors to the Castlevania franchise often follow a similar pattern including Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night.
  • Divinity: Original Sin II has no end of loot from randomly generated quest rewards, Random Drops, and the chance for any container to hold a level-scaled precious item. By the late game, players are certain to be trading bales of mismatched Legendary items to merchants alongside the usual Shop Fodder.
  • In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, "The Secret Merchant" is a Paralogue Chapter for Anna, who can be recruited as of the Wave 3 DLC. As one might expect from a merchant's quest, it is highly rewarding to complete offering four Large Bullions and eight standard Bullion (in addition to weapons), keeping your coffers full throughout much of Part 1.

  • A weird example in Goblins: Forgath mentions that Minmax cannot simply walk into a blacksmith shop and buy a magic sword, as that would be too Monty Haul, but that's exactly what PCs are expected to do with their treasure. (If you look in the DM's guide, it clearly says a PC can generally buy any magic item on the list, though they need to look for a seller.) Monty Haul only comes in when PCs have too much money for their level.
  • Jerry Holkins (Tycho) accuses Mike Krahulik (Gabe) of this in Penny Arcade, then decides to balance it — Tycho being a Killer GM.
  • DM of the Rings: As a Campaign Comic of The Lord of the Rings, this is discussed between the players, who expect the trope, and the DM, whose narrative vision has conspicuously little treasure.
    DM: What are you talking about? This is a tomb, not a Wal-Mart. The room is empty.
    Aragorn: What a ripoff. I'll search for secret doors.
    Gimli: One moment. Let's think about this. The DM tells us you're a king. The forces of evil threaten to wipe out your people. Would your character really waste time searching this room?
    Aragorn: Of course. We're in a dungeon. The loot is around here somewhere.

    Web Video 
  • Zigzagged by Matthew Mercer, the DM for Critical Role. He is very generous with his items - by level 10, almost everybody in Vox Machina had a magic weapon or weapons with magical effects, and the party has a magic carpet, a bag of holding, an immovable rod, and numerous other fun things as well as a lot of platinum and gold - but it's balanced out by the fact that his fights are hard, particularly by late game.
  • In the Malikar campaign of Puffin Forest, Ben was a very generous dm who gave out lots of loot and even let the players buy magic items from a vendor. This later created a problem, as the players eventually became so loaded that there wasn't really anything else Ben could give them that they didn't already have. The supposedly legendary magic item Barathorn becomes Junk Rare because of this.

    Western Animation 
  • Dee Dee from Dexter's Laboratory becomes one after taking over DM-ship of Dexter's game. Considering that Dexter is a Killer Game Master, the players are much happier with the change. Even funnier is the treasures she hands out: the Archer gets a stronghold (basically the most awesome tree fort ever), the Knight gets a "noble steed", and the Magician gets a Lovely Assistant and a lifetime of sold-out shows in Las Vegas. Dexter's character asks for the chalice they were questing to obtain, and is upset that all it does is "you can drink from it and it'll never spill."

    Real Life 
  • Truth in Television for most professional GMs who are promoting a game system for a company. Their real job (other than to run a great session) is to get people to want to buy the source books themselves. Naturally, it’s a good idea to end the session with the player characters fabulously wealthy and successful, because they leave the table feeling good about themselves (this is also why the company usually supplies their GMs with Feelies to pass out as prizes or participation gifts).
    • A notable non-Tabletop Games example comes from a review of DayZ, whose creator allowed a couple of gaming journalists to spawn the basic pistol and some ammunition by server command where normally they'd be completely unarmed at first. This was the exact same weapon that used to be part of everyone's Starter Equipment until it was removed, somewhat controversially, and the player base did not find this at all amusing.


Video Example(s):


Pinata DM

The pinata DM lets everyone have insanely overpowered magic and items, destroying any sense of challenge.

How well does it match the trope?

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Main / MontyHaul

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