A lot is made of the role of the GM in a game, but what is the role of the player?
OK, I know you can’t have a game without the GM, but really—-
it is Players who make it work or not.
Really. Player is King.
Now think about what makes a good King.
Make decisions. The ability to coax cooperation. To get your point across. To make an unpopular choice and get folks to see that it’s the right one. To care about your honor and be worried that someone will confuse your policies with your personal relationships. To empower and delegate others to do their best.
To make sure the Realm survives you.
Not a perfect analogy. But in our case, the Game is the Realm.
A Player needs to be responsible to the Game. To reflect that they serve the Game, as well as what history will say about their choices. To delegate things to other Players, or the GM and help them do their best. To have a vision of what you need to accomplish—and realize that you can’t do it all.
Perhaps you will recognize more easily what makes a bad King.
Not listening to advice. Not understanding how the people perceive you. Not caring about the Realm—only being in it for what you can get out of it. Locking up folks in little cells where they can’t mess with your plans. Twisting promises. Protecting your ego at the expense of your Realm. Abuse of power.
A King needs to believe in what they are doing. Then they need to do it. Sure, there are Kings who sit back and just “caretake” or Kings who know that they don’t need anyone else to be a great King.
At a council of Kings—those sorts aren’t going to walk away with a better experience.
I’ve answered the question without once saying “sticky”.
Now go read Ginger’s answer. It’s excellent.