Thursday, June 07, 2007

I'll take Door Number Three, Monty!

The other day I posted about my take from my local library's quarterly book sale, a post which I titled "Monty Haul". In comments there, Redsneakz asks about that title:

Is the phrase "Monty Haul" common koine? The only place I've seen it used is the infamous and uproarious "Bimbos of the Death Sun" by Sharyn McCrumb.

I'm not familiar with "Bimbos of the Death Sun", but I came across the term "Monty Haul" in some of the old Advanced Dungeons and Dragons literature I used to own. I don't remember which book this was specifically in, but the term refers to an AD&D campaign which basically boils down to "Kill the beastie with relative ease, take home the enormous treasure, lather, rinse, repeat", with no real attention to storytelling or plot or role-playing. An extreme example would be a party of third-level characters coming across three or four kobolds, killing them in three or four combat rounds, and then finding that the kobolds had a million gold pieces and five scrolls each with one "Wish" spell on them.

A more detailed explanation of "Monty Haul" can be found here. I was lucky in that neither of the campaigns I played in college were "Monty Haul" campaigns. My first DM placed a far higher premium on role-playing (his earlier, high-school experiences with AD&D involved him and his fellow friends from the drama club using AD&D to hone their improvisational theatrical skills) than my second DM, who was more into action and puzzles. But both were good at making the rewards for action commensurate with the difficulties involved in the struggles.

1 comment:

Call me Paul said...

You might also have mentioned that the phrase is a pun on the name of the host of the popular game show, Let's Make a Deal, Monty Hall. Although, I guess that was kinda implied by the title, wasn't it?