recalling the time my freshman d&d players decided they were tired of the mayor telling them what to do so they burned down the town.

the local noble (for whom they were working) decided to make an example of them and hunted them across the entire kingdom

the campaign turned into a desperate flight across the wilderness, pursued by a group of eldritch knight magistrates

eventually they found out that while nobody died, the whole town had to rebuild from scratch in an adjacent valley

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i did eventually give them a way to redeem themselves by bringing information about a power play by another noble house to the Duke, and essentially forfieting all their (8th level) magic items to help finance the rebuilding

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but, by that time, the players had gone through the "haha we're just fucking around" and "oh shit our actions have consequences" stages, through anger at the duke and horror at the ruin they'd wrought, to genuinely wanting to correct what they'd done!

@tindall such stories always remind me of the gems in my collection of famous last words of releplaying characters - the undisputed crown jewel being: "a dragon hoard? let be to the front, i want to be the first one!" and then (to the dm): "huh? oh - you said 'dragon horde'?"
closely followed by "i attack the weakest member of the other group - the frail old man with the staff and book..."

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