I've been wondering whether some DMs just don't trust players, viewing players who question the DM's choices as menaces who are only trying to step around limits and smuggle in PCs that wreck the DM's carefully crafted setting.
How accurate is this rather cynical view of players and their motivations? Is the DM really obliged to clamp down hard on any perceived insubordination or have to endure being dictated to by the players each session? The fear of 'munchkin' or overpowered PCs is as old as D&D, and there's been some angst about the prospect of "setting-inappropriate" PCs, which may not be mechanically superior but clash with the DM's intentions. If the DM wants to run a Feywild campaign featuring fey races, does she have to strictly police player choices or be faced with a party of humans, half-orcs and dragonborn - anything but fey?
The contrary view is that players want to co-operate with the DM, respect the effort she puts into the campaign setting, and are more interested in having a fun time playing than wreaking havoc. When a campaign is specifically focused, this type of player wants to work with the DM to ensure they get a PC that they enjoy playing and makes sense as part of the DM's creation. Saying yes to them leads to a better game, not a broken game.
These are only two depictions of expected player motives, and many other possibilities exist, either along a continuum between these two points, or different axes altogether.
How do you generally view players and their motivations? Mostly the former description, with not much of the latter? The other way round? A mix of both? Capable of either, dependening on the situation? Do other major factors not mentioned above influence the typical player, such as the urge to be drawn in by a compelling story or explore as much of the gameworld as possible?
5e seems to view players as being mainly the second type, but tends towards a desire to not make the PCs lives too comfortable, due to a number of occasions where DM fiat is specifically invoked.