I'm sure this is answered elsewhere, but maybe I'm using the wrong search words:
I DM. I watch my players often make strange decisions. I do not advise them. Most of this comes down to bad ideas and decisions, such as:
- in battle, they don't attack spell casters first, then say they regret it, only to do it again and again.
- the fighters rush into hand to hand combat, knowing their own spell casters don't want them to do that
- they heard a very powerful and dangerous monster is tethered to cave. They learn it has nothing to do with their stated goal. They go into the cave and have a senseless, near impossible battle, then later say they didn't mean to go there.
- they've learned a room has secret doors and compartments, but don't think to search. They give up an leave.
- they could easily attack enemies who are in small groups, but decide to wait for them all to coordinate a mob attack on the party.
they discuss that waiting to leave after dark is safe. Then they depart in daytime knowing they will be seen, tracked, and attacked.
They get lost in a very dangerous location. They discuss finding a way out. They go 50 feet and get distracted and go back to exploring. They get into terrible trouble and can't get out.
They gett into trouble. They say they want to escape, but don't think of running away. Instead, they stand and fight a battle they know they can't win. Inexplicably, other members who are waiting for them, and are safe decide, to join them. No one runs away.
Deep inside a huge castle, they insult the captain of the guard while pretending to be his own guards ()they are not disguised and look different than all others. When chased, they split up saying they want the fighters to act as a rear guard. Then some stop to examine a room, allowing enemies to catch up (they see and hear them coming and do not run). Then the fighters can't hold back the 20 guards and leaders.
they pick fights with the first creature they come upon, even when they know it is peaceful.
In one game, they entered a dangerous base of some humans and orcs, with reliable knowledge that there were 100-150 enemies there. They walk around the barracks and facility, and then into the rooms of the leaders, getting into trouble. Next game, they do it again, then complain there are too many enemies and it is too difficult. They never think to do hit and run, distraction, wait for them to leave, or any other strategy.
When they do recon or spying, they are not stealthy. (I point out) they clank around the bushes in heavy armor. They do no checks for Hide or Move Silent. They alert the guards who see and hear "armor in the bushes," ruining their plans. This all happens in daylight. They don't think to wait for night to spy.
they know their inn is under surveillance from enemies. The innkeeper tells them 25 strange men are asking about them. They sleep there anyway. Then they are surprised and say they have no choice when their enemy attacks in the morning.
Should DMs give tips or advice, such as "you should find a way out" or "Don't attack the family of owl bears" or "search for secret doors" "maybe you should leave town" "maybe you should Move Silently" "Consider sleeping somewhere else?" I don't think it is my role to tell them, but how are they going to learn?
I sit there as DM and think, "How could anyone think this is a good idea?"
These are all adults, the youngest is 35, and 2 have military backgrounds. They are nice people, maybe not as stupid as I make them sound, but they talk themselves into what seem like unwise actions, or fail to do basic Class Skills and checks.