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A Question I Would Like to Ask Other DM's


Edited 1546378726
Am I being too harsh to my players? I wanted to be the kind of DM that gives a full-on challenge, like how my uncle taught me: Reward the players for their good thinking and acts, reward them for their struggles, reward them when they discover something, and reward them for when they do impossible things. He taught me not to reward them when they do the exact opposite, or if they begin to develop the "it can't happen to me" syndrome, or the immortality complex. He ran half a dozen scenarios with me when I was 11 to prepare me for being a DM. Even though it was AD&D 2nd Edition, I still took it to heart. In all 6 times, I was too nice and he ended up wiping my world out and took advantage of my generosity. After the 10th time, I learned and it helped solidify me into the DM you see today (I'm 25 now). Like, I want my games to teach you as much as challenge you; Kind of like a Hard Mode D&D in a way? If that makes sense? So, when I have two players leave the game because of something they, themselves did and were punished for it, am I to blame? In this case, it was one of the players [who didn't leave] careened himself at full flight [he's an Aasimar] into a portal, he went through the portal, which was a one-way portal. None of the players made any of their roll checks to figure that part out, and not just that, didn't make further investigation checks (This is 5th Edition), nor bothered to figure out what was going on. They saw what was happening in a 6-second 1-round sight, and as their action, instead of hiding to figure out what was going on, they went all in right away. Well, after the others completed the battle, they all decided to go through the portal to go after their friend who didn't make it out the other side. If they had hid and watched, they'd have learned that this is a 1-way portal, what the villains were doing, and that the portal would lead to a high-level Palace (In this case, an ArchFiend's palace in Gehenna). The players who left expected me to ensure they got back to their own world without much exploration (which I told them was impossible because it's a 1-way portal and it's the reason why they have followers on their own side doing their bidding because they are TRYING to make it a 2-way portal). But they were in a Palace basically for level 15-20 at level 5. I have refused to change out the palace's monsters [which it is an ArchFiend's Palace, so there are going to be high level monsters here] for low levels. I do have some imps around, but a lot of the beings here are roughly CR6 and higher. I told them that there was a good chance of a party wipe, but if they acted smart about their environment and not try to kill everything that walked, they might be able to get out of there. Instead, because I refused to give them a portal back, two of the players left because the game was "too difficult". I'm wondering if there's something wrong with my DMing and if I could get some advice? I have 18 years of D&D experience in my 25-year life, but even I get stumped sometimes. Any suggestions would be beneficial. And I can take criticism if you have criticism for me. I'm a big girl, I can handle it. :) Thanks for your time.

Edited 1546378750
Sheet Author
Happy New Year Chandra.&nbsp; Sounds like you're doing great as a DM and it's your players that need to "adjust".&nbsp; Always make sure your players understand how you will direct your game.&nbsp; If actions equal consequences, good or bad, so be it.&nbsp; That's part of the fun IMO.&nbsp; That said, roll20's forums are supposed to only be about roll20.&nbsp; It would be best to post your question/comments on another forum such as&nbsp; <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/rpg/" rel="nofollow">https://www.reddit.com/r/rpg/</a> <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/DnD/" rel="nofollow">https://www.reddit.com/r/DnD/</a> <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/DungeonsAndDragons/" rel="nofollow">https://www.reddit.com/r/DungeonsAndDragons/</a> Cheers
Much appreciated. Apologies, and happy new year.
Sheet Author
To add to this, <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskGameMasters/" rel="nofollow">https://www.reddit.com/r/AskGameMasters/</a> &nbsp;is another great place to ask about this kind of issue, as is <a href="http://forum.rpg.net" rel="nofollow">http://forum.rpg.net</a> &nbsp;.&nbsp;
I just want to second Vince. It sounds like your players are immature, entitled, and maybe a little dumb. You gave them the opportunity to find out what was going on, and that player chose to charge through that portal despite having no information about it. This sounds a lot like something that happened in an old Planescape campaign I was in when a Modron PC died, awoke in Mechanus, and was given the chance to find his way back to the City of Doors. When he got to the control room where he could travel back and delete all records of his presence from Mechanus, he just looked around and said, "I smash the place up." He broke every console in the room. He destroyed his only chance of return because he preferred to act instead of think for even 2 seconds. He rolled a new character. Like him, your players made a bad decision and have to live with the consequences. You're doing the right thing as DM. If this campaign goes to shit because of this, just make up with those players outside the game and never play D&amp;D with them again.
Sheet Author
This isn't really the place to discuss this, as Vince has pointed out, but I want to say there are several&nbsp; signs in the OPs post that suggest to me the players might have been justified in leaving. There are two sides to every story, and the person telling the story has their own biases they may not be aware of. You can't jump to conclusions without having all the details, and this isn't the place to get them. OP if you want to talk about it in PM, I'm happy to, but this thread isn't the place: it will get closed as soon as the moderators notice it. Also check out the links we've posted.

Edited 1546388286
Pat S.
Forum Champion
Sheet Author
As other have mentioned, this is off topic and will be closed. There are solid links provided so please seek out these sites and gather feedback there.