Monty Hall was the host of Let's Make a Deal. Gary Gygax named the style of roleplaying gameplay where game masters hid treasures behind some doors, monsters behind others and then let the players choose their fate "monty haul" gaming, making a pun on the game show host's name. The term has come to be used to refer to sessions where game masters encourage munchkin players.


TheBooBooKitty: Actually my w/u is quite correct. Although I had used the term for years before writing it I cribbed information from part 5, question G8 of the rec.games.frp.dnd FAQ which reads as follows:


G8:  Who's this "Monty Haul" character I keep hearing about?

A:  Monty Hall was the host of the 60's & 70's, and 90's American game 
    show _Let's Make a Deal_.  People would dress up in silly costumes, 
    then be chosen out of the crowd to play the game.  Monty would give 
    the lucky contestant a handful of money, then talk them into trading 
    the money for whatever was behind door number one, door number two, 
    door number three, or what was in the box, or they could just keep the 
    money.  Each time they traded, he would give them another choice.  
    After they decided to stick with a choice, Monty revealed what had 
    been won.  Prizes could be anything, good or bad, such as money, cars, 
    jewelry, a years supply of auto wax, goats, inner tubes, exotic 
    vacations, a pound of confetti, etc.  Gary Gygax named the style of 
    play where game masters hid treasures behind some doors, monsters 
    behind others and then let the players choose their fate "Monty Haul" 
    gaming, making a pun on the game show host's name.
      The term has come to be used to refer to sessions where game masters 
    encourage munchkin players; basically any game can be considered a 
    Monty Haul game where the game master sets up unfathomable amounts of 
    treasure and earth-shattering magic items guarded by weak and wimpy 
    monsters, thus giving enormous amounts of power to beginning-level 
    characters.

Also keep in mind that what exactly qualifies a game as "monty haul" varies widely depending on who you ask. Be sure to wear your Nomex undies if you bring it up online (or even offline with some people).

A Monty Haul game is one in which the dungeon master gives out large amounts of treasure and magical items with very little effort on the players part. This is the sort of game where everyone has a magic sword well before they reach second level. Some Monty Haul games go so far as to have characters who have ability scores over the normal human limit, carry multiple artifacts, and generally wield all the power of a god (but with none of the responsibility).

From the AD&D second edition's Dungeon Master's Guide

At the other extreme, the problems of too much treasure are not so easily solved. Here players may enjoy the game and why not? Their characters are doing quite well. They have sufficient money and magic to best any situation the DM can devise.

However, the DM seldom has the same enjoyment. He is faced with the task of topping the last lucrative adventure. He must make each adventure a greater challenge than the last. While this is true for all DMs, it is grossly exaggerated for the DM who has given out too much: How do you top the adventure where the fighter got the Hammer of Thor or some equally valuable item?

Invariably, the players reach a point where they, too, become frustrated. Everything is the same"Oh, we did this before," or "Ho-hum. Another Sword of Instant Monster Destruction." Soon there are no challenges left, because the characters have earned everything in the book!

A dungeon master must be extremely careful not to let his game evolve into this sort of challengeless crap fest. If characters begin to become to rich, simply find a way to take some of it away from them (tax collectors, bandits, and natural disasters work well). Avoid the pitfall of swapping around magical items that appear in modules, to the ones the player can use (don't change the Spear +2 into a mace, just because none of the players can use a spear). Don't go out of your way to make items fall into a players lap (there is no way the players are going to spot the one magic sword among the forty carried by the attacking orcs, unless someone casts a Detect Magic spell).

No one should have more than a half dozen permanent magic items (usually less, usually much less). The 7th level NPCs that the players meet are not carrying 18 individual magic items each, so neither should the players.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.