Why not introduce some major incident that lets your PCs go unwatched, thus with the ability to free themselves and then help fight the incident?
Considering the fact that this is an historical campaign, you could start something big that didn't make it to the history books, and it could be thanks to your PC.
This way, your PC redeem themselves, AND write history!
The incident can even be Bob's character's doing, this way your PC:
- mess with history,
- fix it,
- stop Bob's character and may even kill him, to their great satisfaction,
- don't have the feeling that you saved them, in fact if you play this well, your only part will be to give them a chance to escape.
If you are concerned about how Bob will react, consider that you had a long talk with him, and he had several chances to correct his behavior. Clearly he had no respect for others' fun, so why bother?
- Your ability to constructively address things like this as a player will, perhaps unfortunately, depend on how central or peripheral you are to the group socially. And this is definitely a social problem, not just a game problem, so I'll be attempting to channel Captain Awkward for much of this answer. But I wanted to start out by admitting the possibility that you may not have "standing" to address this issue other than bringing it to the GM's attention, which it sounds like you've already done. I hate to say it, but this may be especially true depending on the nature of your relationship with the GM; some people will make assumptions that could make it more difficult for you to bring up issues, unjust though that may be.
- Note that I don't think that means you shouldn't say something. The GM's role in "running the game" depends on the system and the particular game, but that need not and often should not translate to running the gaming group. Some situations are customarily addressed by the GM as an extension of their role as referee, but in real life the GM isn't in charge of anyone else, and it's unfair to always expect them to solve table problems - mayking the game fun is everyone's responsibility.
- Most of the below is written based on the assumption that the problem player here is basically operating in good faith, but frustrated with how things are going and expressing it badly. This may not be true - frankly, dude sounds like a pain, and you could choose to be more assertive - but there are reasons to at least verbally leave open the possibility:
- Having been the guy who was doing something wrong and didn't find out until later, I really appreciate being given the benefit of the doubt.
- It can make for smoother, less confrontational conversations.
- It's kinder to give people some credit/dignity, even if they don't deserve it, which is more important the more invested you and others are in maintaining the relationship.
- It will often make it pretty obvious if they are operating in bad faith and don't care about your feelings, which is disappointing but makes it easier to do what you have to do next.
The Simple Way
Don't play with him. You're there to have fun, and he's making things not fun. If your comment about what he wants is accurate, and that would indeed ruin the game for the rest of you, then there's probably no way for everyone to get what they want, so majority rules. Of course, this is simple in concept but not necessarily in execution; still, it's preferable to letting resentment build into an explosion that leads to the same result but with even more hurt feelings.
Now, normally this would be done by the GM, in a private conversation, but if they agree it needs to happen but don't want to do it themselves for social reasons, it could be easier if done as a group, and you could start that conversation. Probably after or towards the end of a session, when he's been up to his usual shenanigans, I would call him on it and say "Hey, it really makes it less fun when you do X, and you don't really seem to be enjoying the game that much yourself. Since we seem to have such different styles, is it possible this specific game, with these rules and expectations, isn't really your thing?"
Note that this doesn't have to be personal, though it's difficult not to take something like this personally, partly due to Geek Social Fallacy #5: the idea that friends do everything together and therefore not wanting do do a particular activity together must mean you're not friends. To mitigate that, you could suggest specific, reassuring alternatives: "I don't think this game is working out as is, but maybe you and I could do [ACTIVITY] on [WEEKDAY] instead?" Don't suggest that if you wouldn't actually enjoy it, but perhaps you could arrange for someone who would to do so.
The Complex Way
Try to resolve the situation in a way that lets you keep playing this or a similar game. Ask this player to help you understand what makes them act this way - why they do the things they do, and why they respond the way they do to your actions (because the examples you gave really, really don't sound like any definition of metagaming i'm familiar with). This will be a long, possibly multi-part conversation. Two broad categories of possibilities, likely both present in some proportion:
- Something is going on in their personal life that makes them easily frustrated when things don't go their way; either a generic stressor or tension in their relationship with another player(s). You likely can't solve the root problem at the table, but pointing it out could help them realize they need to keep it out of the game.
- They want to play the game one way, you all want to play it a different way, and most likely, this gap was not identified, discussed, and resolved before play began. Different players are motivated by wildly different things. It may be possible to craft a game that meets everyone's needs at least some of the time - a little character drama here, a little violently eviscerating anyone who stands in your way over there. This is mostly on the GM, but also about character design - sometimes having the more fight-y players play more fight-y characters, like bodyguards, can ease the tension. They're still not talking much and still more interested in killing, but now it's in character. Heck, sometimes just the act of pointing out that there are multiple equally valid ways of playing games by itself can help, if part of the frustration comes from a feeling that the other players are doing something objectively Wrong as opposed to "not what we're going for this time."
If you can't find common ground after working on it for a while, you still have The Simple Way, and at least you know you tried.
1. Focus on a specific, recent incident or two. You can allude to the fact that it's becoming kind of a pattern, but "You always..." is not the start of a productive conversation. Presumably, this player hasn't been thinking about this issue as much as you have, so a narrow, concrete focus will help them have information to work with.
2. Use I-statements. Saying "You need to stop doing X", while very possibly true, can sound too much like "Your behavior is bad and wrong and so are you."1 Saying "I really thought I was playing my character, and I wasn't out to get you, so I was hurt when you accused me of that," highlights the effect their actions are having and invites them to reconsider.
3. Avoid an "intervention" vibe. Especially since you're not the GM, try not to speak for anyone else; just mention your issues with this player's behavior. There may come a point in the conversation where it's appropriate to invite others to share their opinions, but anything like "We've decided..." sounds too much like "We've all been talking about you behind your back, and the conclusion is that you suck!"
1This point applies in cases of mildly annoying behavior where you're trying to keep things friendly. When the stakes are higher, like if the behavior is making people feel unsafe, it's much more important to be clear about "You need to stop doing this, now." I'm interpreting this situation as the former, but I could be wrong and either way I wouldn't want people to generalize too much from this point of the answer.
The best way to handle attention-hogging "diva" players is to set limits, then enforce them.
Divas, whether in RPG groups or in real life, take advantage of the social expectation to be polite and accomodating in order to get away with their behavior. So to protect your own sanity and your game, you need to create an alternate social expectation up front. In the case of a play-by-post RPG, this could mean rules like "if you take longer than X days to post your actions, the GM will declare a neutral action for you and continue without you", and "if you're repeatedly unable to come up with actions or ideas for your character, the GM may ask you to create a new one you're more comfortable playing."
The key here is to set the limits as a group. Don't single out the diva (they'll probably feel singled out anyway, but that's beside the point), just take some time before or during the opening of the game to state these ground rules. Emphasize that they apply to everybody and that they will be enforced in order to keep the game running smoothly for all players.
Enforce Those Limits
An important part of setting limits is declaring how those limits will be enforced. Otherwise it's like a parent who says to their toddler, "You'd better get over here right now! I mean it! Now!" but never actually takes action to address non-compliance. The toddler knows she can ignore the warnings because nothing will happen to her if she does, and she gets to keep doing whatever she's doing anyway.
Therefore, once you've set your limits for the game, enforce them. If the diva player (or any other player) takes too long to post their actions, do as you said: declare a neutral action for them, then move on. Ignore whining and complaining; refer back to the limits established at the beginning of the game: "I understand you're frustrated. You agreed to the limit of X days at the beginning of the game, and it's been X days, so I had to move on for the sake of the rest of the players."
It's perfectly fair to give warnings (such as a message a day before the deadline saying "Hey, you agreed to post within X days and it's been X-1 days. Just wanted to give you a heads-up!"). However, the important part is enforcing the limit after it's been broken, and doing so consistently and calmly.
Keeping Your Own Sanity
Divas thrive on getting attention, whether positive or negative, from others. Setting and enforcing limits helps take away a lot of their avenues for getting this attention. They'll try to get it back by throwing tantrums, complaining, and otherwise table-flipping over the "unfair" rules and "getting picked on". This is why it's so important to set the limits for everyone at the beginning of the game. That way all you have to do is calmly and repeatedly fall back on, "You agreed to these rules. That's all there is to it." As long as you keep your calm and ignore the diva's attention grabs (and make sure the other players don't get drawn in), you'll remove the diva's incentive to act that way and make the game more enjoyable for everyone.
Note that this may result in the diva threatening to leave the group. If they do, say calmly, "it's your choice whether to leave or stay. If you stay, these are the rules you've agreed to." Then it's up to them whether to leave (and get no attention at all) or stay (and get less attention than they'd like, but still some). If they do actually leave, just say, "Thanks for gaming with us" and let them go. The point here is to not give them any attention, since that's what they're after. Giving them attention in response to threats or flouncing only reinforces that they can get what they want by doing these things. So just stay calm, be polite, and let the diva figure out that their bad behavior is no longer going to get them anywhere.