I like to think that when I'm a player I want the same thing I try to provide when I'm a DM - fairness.
I disagree.While I know you mean well, I honestly couldn't disagree more with this as a blanket statement. The GM doesn't always "have to" automatically change the campaign focus to suit the players.
By taking on the role, a DM has IMO also taken on the obligation to follow the players' lead to a fairly great extent; though as the DM controls the setting there's ways of mitigating some of it. That said, a DM always has the nuclear option: shut the game down.In a situation like you describe, there should be a dialogue about that, out of game, between players and the GM to find a compromise everyone is happy with. Player agency is not always paramount. The GM isn't obliged to run a campaign or style that they don't want to run.
Depends on where those restrictions and permissions fall.
Restrictions on what I can roll up in terms of species, classes, etc. (e.g. "All PCs in this campaign are Dwarves")? Fine.
Restrictions on what I have that character (or we collectively have the party) do once it's in play (e.g. "No evil characters")? Not fine at all.
Most important, though (and @iserith hits this in post #2) is consistency, such that we-as-players can come to know what to expect.
The way I see it, one of the roles/duties of a GM is to be reactive, willing and able to catch whatever the players throw and roll with it.
I mean, there's things PCs could decide to do that would bore the crap out of me as DM (getting into business and capital ventures rather than adventuring is one such); but if that's what they decide they want to do it's on me-as-DM to accept that and run with it.
Flip side: there's types/themes of campaigns I'd love to run (pirates/marine being one) but if the players ain't interested, so be it - I don't get to run that.
By taking on the role, a DM has IMO also taken on the obligation to follow the players' lead to a fairly great extent; though as the DM controls the setting there's ways of mitigating some of it. That said, a DM always has the nuclear option: shut the game down.
Also, the way I see it the more arbitrary restrictions on character actions a DM puts in place the more she's setting herself up for trouble if-when one or more players chafe at said restrictions.
You're choosing to take on that burden.
When I DM I'm there to have fun too. They don't pay me.
I don't want to play certain sorts of things and I don't have to.