Players that argue with the DM?

Out of character conflict needs to be handled out of conflict. In character punishment never ends well.

While there's always going to be problem children, the majority of arguments come from somewhere, and it's good to figure out what it is causing the strife.

One thing I've learned over time is that rules lawyering and rules arguing is often a means by which a player secures agency with their character. As DM, you hold infinite power over all that is. Your whim dictates the laws of society, the wild and physics, all in one. Being jointly at the mercy of that whim's potential unpredictable shifts combined with the randomness of dice makes those players lose the feeling of immersion and agency over their character and their actions. So they turn to the rules as a steady, unwavering law that they can lean on and anchor them back into a feeling of control. They have something solid that says "when I do this, this happens," and it's comforting. And it feels violating to have it taken away. Yes, some people go beyond this and use the rules to try and exploit the system, but it's not the root of that behavior for your average player.

Unfortunately, there's not a simple one sentence answer to that problem. If the player doesn't trust in the DM's judgement to be in their best interest, then those moments you take control away or go off the rails from the rules are going to be met with these kinds of reactions. Saying "no, I'm in charge, sit down and shut up" is only going to worsen the mistrust. You'll have to find a balance between being in control and ensuring the players retain the feeling of agency over their character. If there's an out-of-character dispute, handle it out-of-character with a civil discussion. Don't ever use game mechanics to reinforce out-of-character behvior, or it'll only make the problem worse.

/r/DnD Thread