I’ve got a group that it seems no matter what I do, they always end up arguing about every single situation I put in front of them. This includes the more simplistic situations like, “Where do you want to go first in town?” to the larger, “What is the general goal for the group”.
While I don’t think a bit of discussion on the topic is bad — in fact, it can be very good because that means they’re taking it seriously — some sessions I might sit there listening to them bicker longer than we actually play the game. This is not an exaggeration, as it isn’t outside of the norm to sit there and listen to them go on for about half an hour.
Of course, this also allows players with more force of personality to dominate the leadership roles in the group. Once again, this isn’t necessarily bad. Every group needs a leader, if only to keep the more passive players moving along.
My question to all of the more experienced GMs: Is there a happy medium to discussion or is the idea just a pipe dream?
Edit: By request, here is some more information. The arguments seem to be about anything and everything, but usually are about what the group should do as a whole: where they should go, what they should accomplish, what missions should they take. This has led to the more passive gamers capitulating quickly and leaving the more forceful players to do as they please, even if I know that those passive gamers wanted to stay in the local in-game area to explore. I know that at least one of my stronger players isn’t aiming for that. He’s simply playing his character to the hilt.