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.