DJWyre

What personality do you give your Kerbals?

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I always imagine Jeb and Val are either going to end up in a very public and very embarrassing fight, or a very public and very embarrassing relationship.

Bob wants to build a giant train set on Mun (he likes trains).

Bill drank scrumpy before fixing tractors, now he drinks scrumpy after fixing rockets.

 

What (if any!) personality do you impart on your Kerbals?

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I pretend mine are the rugrats. It explains so much.

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Anything, from just goofy Kerbals, to the cartoon version of the characters from the Red Mars books, to maybe even cartoons of deceased scientists, astronauts, explorers etc.

Either way, they are beings that prefer to live in microgravity, can hybernate for long periods of time and live on electricity. They are peaceful and calm if somewhat reckless.

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See signature for more details :) but for the in-game orange suits:

Jeb. 

Entrepreneur, leader, competent engineer and stone-cold pilot when he needs to be. Doesn't have a great deal of time for bureaucracy or for  academic 'experts' who don't ever bother to stray outside of their ivory towers. Started the Kerbin Interplanetary Society (KIS) with rather a lot of starry-eyed idealism, blew up a lot of sounding rockets and eventually, through dogged determination (and more than a hint of 'stuff you' to the KIS's various naysayers), oversaw the construction of Kerbin's first sub-orbital crewed spacecraft.

Bill

Scientist and engineer, specialising in electronics and avionics. Shy and retiring by nature and fond of the good things in life - where Jeb and Gene might enjoy a quiet half pint on occasion, Bill is more likely to go for a glass of wine. Indeed, he's an amateur citrus wine (a mildly alcoholic drink peculiar to the kerbals) brewer of no small repute, although the rise of the KIS and kerballed spaceflight in general, haven't left him with a lot of time to devote to the craft.

Bob

Easy going engineer, who's equally at home briefing senior management or getting his hands dirty on the shop floor. A key figure in building and maintaining the early collaboration efforts between Kerbin's fledgeling space companies, which paved the way to the Mün. A keen guitarist, who appreciates the odder sides of Kerbin's music scene, although he hasn't yet found the opportunity to take Beauty, (his lucky guitar) with him to orbit.

Val

Of all the kerbonauts, Val's career would probably be closest to that of the early US or Soviet spacefarers. A hotshot pilot and general barnstormer on Kerbin's air-racing circuit, Val went on to make a name for herself as a military commander before being transferred to the C7 Special Projects Division as a test pilot. Has yet to fly into space.

 

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Jeb - Not dumb, exactly, but he prefers figuring it out on the fly over careful planning and analysis. Impulsive and forgetful, but also a fantastic pilot who defies death on a regular basis.

Val - Ice to Jeb's fire. Typically more calm and collected, but intense. She tends to fly the more technical missions, such as difficult rescues. (In fact, I learned how to do them by sending Val to rescue Jeb from a Mun mission catastrophe.) They may or may not have had a fling that ended badly.

Bill - Friendly, but ultimately likes rockets better than people. He builds all the insane contraptions for Jeb to fly, but gets annoyed when they come back with parts broken and missing.

Bob - Cranky and cynical. Although he's a scientist, he also follows the ancient religion of Jool the Protector, and sometimes quotes the more pessimistic passages from Joolian scripture when stressed.

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These are really good guy/gals! I'll have a go.

Jeb: Ace-pilot, renegade. Tired of beaurocracy slowing down the KSP, Jeb became the first Kerbal to reach space by duct taping himself atop KSC's prototype SRB booster. With no parachute to slow his fall KSC engineers attributed his survival to the highly classified Krakonian composite spacesuit Jeb stole from the research centre prior to launch. Thanks to the overwhelmingly positive media reaction KSC head honcho's decided to pass the mission off as a planned exercise, Jeb promptly became a hero of Kerbal kind thus saving his career. Will drink rocket fuel if you dare him. 

Bob: Senior Field Scientist, Kobel prize winner for his advances in mystery goo research. Due to his risk averse nature the KSC administration decided to send bill on the first flight around the Mun, primarily to prevent Jeb from making an unauthorized landing. Has a hand carved collection of model Krakens.

Bill: Chief engineer, inventor of the EAS-4 strut connector paving the way for ever larger rockets. Bill has spent the last year on Minmus setting up mining operations for further exploration. Recent analysis of CCTV footage from the Minmus Mining outpost suggest Bill has named his Kerball Trevor and takes him everywhere. Isolation may be getting to him.

Val: Ex-navy Pilot, Currently working in the SSTO program as test pilot. VAL is a reserved Kerbal who always flies by the book. Enjoys walks along the KSC beach in her downtime. Does not agree with Jebs reckless attitude to spaceflight. Can be found in local dive bars after test flights, usually drinking alone. Trolls Flat Kerballers online.

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The general sociology is kind of like a TV version of the 50's in the west. That's 1950's not 2050's, now get off my lawn. Though many of the attitudes about race and gender are closer to modern. At least for the kerbals running my space program. I haven't though much about the rest of Kerbin, as there isn't a unified world government. I should really lay down some deep canon about that for the Greenfields series. The kerbals of the design arms of the program have a different design ethic, at least relative to ours. Best described as, from out side the game looking in, is this design contra-indicated by the game engine?

As for individual Kerbals... I try not to focus on the fab-four, but

Jeb can fly anything with wings, and somethings without. Best summed up with the line "If Jeb can't fly it, slap some wheels on it and call it a car." But, Jeb's on an informal psych-watch. The only thing keeping him on the active list is that he is that good. Both him and the top-ranks know that this is his last job. He's only leaving in a box, hopefully not an empty one, or on a straight up medical no-fly evaluation.

Val is a top pilot, definitely among the top ten. More than being a crack hand on the stick she is the leader that was needed among the original space crew. In the old timey war and space opera movies she's the one on the bridge calmly giving the orders while things are far more... exciting than they really need or should be. Probably destined to be part of the country's leadership's advisory council on science and technology.

I haven't thought too much about Bob and Bill.

I do try to focus on the other ones.

Gus, head of the steely-eyed rocket men kerbals. He's not the smartest or cleverest of the lot by any measure. But he can come up with an answer quick. It won't be the best, but it will be good and it will work. Nine times out of ten an answer right now trumps the best answer later. Especially when the answer right now when the brown stuff is flying will get you to where you can find a mop. He worries about that tenth time, since he's gotten away with it for so long.

Walt, the interface between the program and the real world. He's the one that has to talk to the world when things go well and when they don't. He has a file with preassembled announcements for various things. The famed shot is from just before the first suborbital passenger flight. He was near the pad during fueling. They were using red fuming nitric acid for the fuel at the time, which is futzing nasty stuff.

Mort, the kerbal is creepy. Not in a psychopath kind of way, more of a something is slight off kind of way. He doesn't like circles or curves. The offices of the accounting group are eldritchly square. Some of the other kerbals joke that the office hallways don't have Euclidian geometry, something about there being too many or too few right angles on a path depending on the direction you take. Well they joke, but some worry that it isn't a joke.

Linus, this is his first real job after school. He's good enough to get a serious position anywhere else. He just doesn't realize it yet, or just hasn't been liquided off by Wernher enough yet. A little bit dense when it comes to social interactions. Still hasn't figured out why some of the computers keep asking about his slide rule. Sure it is thirty centimetres long and a decent six centimetres wide, but it's nothing special. No, I'm not going to tell you either.

Wernher, the kerbal thinks he craps sunbeams, and isn't afraid to let everyone know. That being said he does have a fair bit of basis for that opinion. In-verse I have him as the kerbal who is heading up the research into the mysterious Goo. Though it is just an excuse for him to research into other things. He does do enough of it to justify his continued employment in that regard. He suspects that in "suitably flat space" it may exhibit properties that will allow side stepping of lightspeed constraints. Like Jeb he gets away with it because he is that good.

Edited by steuben
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I'll have a go!

Jeb- a very good pilot. One of the best, seeing as he was the first kerbal in space. His seemingly hot-headed nature is offset by his calmer, entrepreneurial side, however he still maintains a deep-seated hatred of the government, due to personal reasons unknown.

Bill- Jeb's best friend, who is more likely to be bolting solid boosters together than actually flying. A member of the Engineering Society, Bill has been known to ramble on long and boring dialogues about the properties of coating lacquer on a J-33 engine.

Bob- a timid scientist who used to be very gung-ho about taking science to space. After the Mun incident, he quit the space program and severed all ties with his fiancee Val. Although he has returned now he has remained in a depressive state much like PTSD, and hasn't found a way of coping yet like Jeb and Bill have.

Valentinaformer jet pilot for the Halco Air Corps and miltary operator who defected after being shot down by her successor. She helped fly Kerbalkind to Orbit with the Genesis series, and was the first kerbal in orbit. Unfortunately during an SSTO sub orbital test the spacecraft spiralled out of control and crashed, leading to a severe leg injury. She now works in Kerbonaut training, and restores old aircraft. Some say she still has a thing for Bob.

MalmyA young scientist who stayed on the ground most of the time, he dreamt several wacky concepts for the future of the space program such as centrifugal toruses and nuclear buses to Duna. Killed in Action after mysterious death on Mun during EVA activity for the Argonaut III landing mission.

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Loving both the similarities and the variations people put on our esteemed Main Four. Keep them coming!

To expand on things; Like Sirius, what about your 'acquired' (or hired) white suits?
With so much history behind our esteemed orange-suit Kerbals, there is a lot of freedom with the new additions to our career saves.

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II’ll have a go...

Jeb: Pilot and all-round cool dude. He was the first Kerbal in space as well as on the Mun, and isn’t afraid to take risks. He enjoys buzzing the VAB at close range in stolen training aircraft, barging his way onto exciting or important missions, and arguing with Bill about the conservative nature of his designs. Constantly in an argument with Val about her doing better in her piloting test than him.

Bill: Genius engineer and second kerbal on the Mun. He is Chief Engineer on the first space station crew. When he isn’t on a mission, he spends his time designing spacecraft with Wernher or tinkering with his large collection of oxidiser turbopumps. He’s good friends with Jeb, but his intense personality often gets on nerdy Bill’s nerves.

Val: A cool, calm and collected pilot who was the first Kerbal in orbit. She did better in her piloting test than Jeb, something that he constantly denies. She is a candidate for the first Kerballed interplanetary mission to Duna, despite never having gone beyond LKO (because of Jeb muscling his way onto every flight he can). She often tests aircraft by the book or acts as CAPCOM for mission control.

Bob: Nerdy scientist. He spent a while orbiting the Mun during the first landing mission. Likes nothing better than to spend all day in his lab examining Mun rocks. He wishes he’d been chosen to walk on the Mun instead of Bill so that he could have made better samples. He has been selected for the Mun base mission. He has always fancied Val, but can never find the courage to talk to her.

Rosie: Ex-accountant at KSC. She became a kerbonaut after an accident involving an auditor, a centrifuge and a mug of tea. Eventually became the first kerbal on Minmus.

Kurt: An engineer who was the second kerbal on Minmus. He has several catchphrases such as “Indeed!” and “Into the sun!”, as well as a tendency to wear red and blue 3D glasses. He is also an amateur astronomer and owns several telescopes. (Ten points if you can guess which youtuber Kurt is based on).

Diny: Rookie pilot. She has forgotten most of the stuff that her  teachers taught her in flight school, but nevertheless has managed to scrape her way into the role of Chief Pilot on the first space station crew.

Madsey: Budding engineer. She got onto the first space station crew because she’s Bill’s apprentice. She’s not afraid to pick up a wrench and take something apart to figure out how it works, and this has got her into trouble more than once!

I have a lot of other kerbonauts in my main save, but haven’t really made up personalities for them yet.

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I like to think my Kerbals have families to support and any mistake I make they make means I cut their pay.

(I am very evil)

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Wayyy back before there was a Valentina, I did a role-play-challenge-mission-report thing. My Jeb, Bill and Bob reflect some of the attributes listed, so here are a few others who got more than a name..

Hudsey and Macly were two recruits trained by Bob. In spite of Bob's attempts to build some camaraderie with them, or maybe because of it, Hudsey and Macly shut Bob out. They were almost like identical twins in how they acted together. They seemed to share their own language and in-jokes and even had a secret handshake for when they pulled something off without "ol'Bob" catching wind of it.

Ludlong was, shall we say, very enthusiastic.  No matter what he was doing, he was doing with 100% intensity and vigor. It mattered not that he didn't know why he was doing something, it was good enough that he was doing it and doing it right! With the biggest perma-grin Kerbals get pinned with, Ludlong's hard-driving nature was eventually channeled by Bob into becoming just about the best pilot KSC ever saw.

Danlong and Bartdorf were fresh out of the Academy and as shiny and clean as new recruits can be. They marched everywhere in unison, even when not required to, and spent hours rehearsing drills and procedures that they themselves had made up. In addition to their "enhancements" to the KSC Space Korps Manual, they developed their own insanely complicated, hierarchical salute that was different for each rank being saluted and the rank doing the saluting. Their quarters were pristine and often raised concerns about when they might finally crack.

Gregry joined the Space Korps to get away from it all so he could focus on writing his screenplay about the "Misadventures at KSC". His best adventure was to Duna where, while making observations of Ike from Duna's surface, he had a brainstorm for the plot of his screenplay. He later recalled that when hearing from Ludlong about the 'anomaly' that was found, and Ludlong telling him: "There's something down there",  the words hung in the cupola as if spoken from a prophet.

"Those words have to be in my movie!" he immediately thought to himself as he wrote them down. He read the words over again in his mind, is of spoken from one of those blockbuster actors like Tom Kruise, "There's something... down there!".

Kerson Kerman was brought in as an efficiency expert after all the kerb-ups that were going on. His communication methods were often to the point, as in pointing fingers at the inefficiencies and often delivered with a shrill exclamation. He was cold, yes, but that was efficient!  He was efficient.

Later on in the mission, it is revealed that Kerson Kerman is a religious zealot and lied to get on the KSC Space Korps. He was one of those "Tylotologists" who held the most absurd beliefs about all of Kermanity coming from the deep craters of Tylo.

Kessler Kerman was a ground-based number cruncher specializing in lifter design. During one of Kerson's lectures on the inefficiency of their latest rocket, Kessler observed all the fairing and coupler debris being strewn about every launch and spoke out of turn. He stood up and pointed towards the slide image on the screen.

"Look at that debris! All those little fairing parts, the decoupler, they're all still up there in orbit above us right now! Even though the booster stage is de-orbited and crashed into the sea, all those small parts are up there in our standard orbital path travelling at almost 2.5 km per second.. if they were to hit something we're launching or is already in orbit, a collision could be katastrophic!"

Silence fell in the conference room. Kerson appeared to turn a slightly lighter shade of green, then spoke, "That would not be efficient. Kessler, was it? Come with me!"


...Finally some bonus trivia about the Three Amigos:

Jeb is a go-anytime-anywhere, check-your-staging-later kind of guy. His skills are second only to his bravado and fear of nothing. He has a tattoo on his arm that reads "MOAR BOOSTERS!". When not given proper stimulus, like doing routine flights to the Space Station, he becomes almost hypnotically lethargic. 

Bill is a brilliant engineer with the ability to sense problems before they occur and a track record of repairing things in at least half as long as he said it would take.

Bob is a pilot specializing in orbital maneuvering and plotting complex gravity-assist burns.   

 

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I think of Jeb as a calm presence until the situation call for him not to be and a smooth talker. He'll be up with someone else trying to dock, and he'll start up a conversation, and all of a sudden he'll stop it. The other kerbal will ask why and Jeb (who is halfway through the hatch) will say they've been docked for two whole minutes already.

Bill is friends with Jeb and will seem to be grooving along to some music (which he is) while actually fixing or inspecting something. The music is carefully chosen so going with it puts him in the right place at the right time. 

Bob is very curious and loves anything to do with computer, space, or weather, but has an abnormally high number of phobias or irrational dislikes, including insects and chocolate. In some ways, Bob is a kerbal version of me.

Val carries a drawing pad or camera everywhere she goes, is always the first to volunteer for a space flight, and has a near-photographic memory. She is the border between the kerbonauts and the mission design people, so a lot of new missions are space stations and there are lights everywhere. She doesn't take crap from anything or anybody and wont hesitate to call you out.

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