[RPG] A player is telling me, the DM, what I can and cannot do


I'm not having fun anymore.

I started DMing after the request of two of my friends. I found other players to join the group which makes a group of 6 players now. We're now 8 sessions into a weekly home-brew campaign. However, I have had trouble with the first two players.

One player is gone now. He was consistently interrupting scenes with inappropriate "call outs" that were out of character and would derail the game, like the time they went inside a burning house to save a little girl and he shouted an offensive and explicit statement, completely ruined the scene because he burst out laughing and repeated it 3 times in a row. Last game this player said to the group that he would not be coming back because he wasn't there for the same reasons of the other players.

That whole thing was already discouraging, and there's still the second player giving me trouble.

The second player is a rule lawyer, and if something happens in a campaign for x,y,z reason I have to have a rule book explanation for it and he also has tried to set rules on me such as, "You can't add NPCs to our party of 6 because fights will take forever".

To be constantly interrupted during scenes and bringing up rule books, breaks the tone I was setting up for that scene. In the group I have two other veteran players of D&D/Pathfinder and both say that I do a great job with the game and it is hard to make weekly games. I'm not strict with the players, if they want to do something I'm open to suggestion and if it makes sense, why not? We're here to have fun and I'm not gonna ruin that. But the two trouble makers I have don't seem to realize that I play too and I have to have fun too in order to keep the game going.

What can I do?

I'm ready to pull the plug and stop everything, I'm having a blast creating content, but it's not worth the payout during game sessions.

Best Answer

The DM is the referee, and the one who creates the world the players exist in. Talk to the players, and make consequences known.

Recommended solution for your problem player: Let him know that rule lawyering is grinding the game to a halt, and to save any discussion on rule discrepancies until after the game. I recommend this as it's what we use to prevent game grinding discrepancies in interpretation from interfering with our campaigns.

Ultimately, you have a catch all option here:

Stop inviting either of those players to the game. D&D works very well with 4 players. Losing 2 that cause problems and headaches for the person who already has to shoulder most of the work is not a particularly hard thing to do. I've had to cut people out of my games before, and I think you'll find that as soon as you do, you'll feel a great weight lift off your shoulders.

Always talk to them first. Explain your concerns, give them a chance. But like unruly children, if they refuse to listen or adapt to change, then discipline appropriately.