This is a dangerous topic, and so I think a disclaimer is necessary. The strategies I’m going to talk about are not bullet proof, and are merely what has, or seems to be, working for my group. As far as Im aware (and I ask them regularly), my players are happy and enjoying the game. As I’ll be talking about the people at my table I wont be using their names.
Some of this will be my opinion, and my interpretation of events. As I am not a Psion, I cannot know the inner workings of anothers mind, all I can do is witness what happens at the table and make decisions based on that.
In my 18+ years of playing D&D I’ve seen everything, from complete Dungeon Master meltdowns to Player explosions, breakdowns of real friendships, and the creation of new ones. Dungeons and Dragons is a social activity, and with it comes all the highs and lows of any other similar situation.
My hope is that by sharing these experiences any DM reading this will know they arent the first to witness a player tantrum. I also hope that some of the ways I’ve overcome social obstacles could light the way for someone else to succeed in creating a happy group.