3.1 – Attributes

Attributes in NRP are very simple. They are completely defined by modifiers, bonuses or penalties to the character’s ability to interact with the game setting via action rolls. As stated earlier, there are any number of possible attributes, but most attributes are assumed average, thus negating the need to rank each of them for each character. But, it allows far greater personalization than systems with fewer, more broadly defined attributes.

SELECTING ATTRIBUTES

At character creation, the player may only select up to four attributes to modify for each character, and at least one modifier must be negative. The total of the modifiers at character creation must be +2. No attribute modifier may be beyond +4 or -4 at character creation … for humans. If the narrator allows different races in the game setting, there may be particular exceptions.

HUMAN STANDARD

As Protagoras stated, the human is the measure of all things. (Paraphrased, of course.) Attributes are designed to reflect human possibilities. When the narrator is designing the game setting, non-human races can be allowed initial modifiers higher or lower than 4, or exceptional attributes as described below, which are attributes that have effects completely outside normal human abilities. As a general rule, the total of modifiers at character creation still must be +2 for non-humans.

EXAMPLES OF ATTRIBUTES

Below are some basic examples of attributes. Novel attributes can be negotiated ad hoc between players and narrators. As discussed earlier, attributes are organized into four basic types that align with the character’s skills and drives:

Vital attributes describe the characters’ ability to use their willpower to interact with their own decision making and the underlying nature of the game setting. All of the supernatural or paranormal aspects of the game setting, magical and psychic abilities, are managed through vital attributes.

Physical attributes describe characters’ ability to use their bodies in interaction with the physical environment, including the bodies of other characters and the character’s own body in training.

Social attributes describe characters’ ability to use their personality in interaction with other creatures by negotiating relationships, uncovering the drives of others, and manipulating those drives.

Mental attributes describe characters’ ability to use their minds in interaction with ideas (models, methods, practices) about the environment.

It should be noted that vital attributes are the most basic, and overlap with the other types. Vital attributes focus on the character’s ability to express his or her will, which will usually be through the other attributes.

Likewise, a character’s physical state can be understand to overlap with social and mental attributes. If a character takes a hard bonk to the head, or suffers cosmetic damage to the face and body, or physically senses misleading information this can disrupt his or her social and mental attributes.

Finally, the social and mental types seem to overlap, as the influence of social attributes can derive from the character’s processing of information. But, in NRP, social and mental attributes are distinguished by whether the information is processed toward promoting the character’s social status or promoting the character’s rational understanding of the world.

Finally, certain attributes belong to multiple types, and should be considered to modify relevant skills and action checks in all of those types.

GENERAL vs. SPECIFIC

Most attributes are general, meaning that they apply to all situations in which the attribute’s power applies. Specific attributes are more limited in their application than general attributes, restricted to certain body parts, situations, fields of information. But, to compensate for this limitation, they are easier to improve with experience. Thus, even though adding modifiers to specified attributes might seem a bad idea at character creation, the benefit pays off later in play.

Some attributes can be either general or specific, depending how the player wants to build the character. In this case, the player can choose both, giving the specified attribute or example having a general CONSTITUTION +1 (resistance to all forms of physical damage) and a specified CONSTITUTION +2 against bruising damage. In this case the additional +1 for the specified attribute only costs the character +1 at character creation, since the general attribute includes resistance to bruising.

Note that the narrator has the option of granting double specification for attributes based on the character’s experience during game play. For example, CONTROL doubly specified by the instinctive physical reaction (say, sneezing) and the type of situation reacted to (say, dust in the air). Doubly specified attributes are even easier to improve, but double specification is not allowed at character creation, however.

REFERENCING ATTRIBUTES

Since there are so many possible attributes, their names might crop up when the actual attribute isn’t intended. For example, FORCE is a physical attribute describing the character’s full-body strength, but obviously the word “force” can be used in many other ways. To avoid confusion, NRP uses all-caps when referring to attributes.

REDUCTION OF ATTRIBUTES

During the course of play, a character’s attributes can be reduced by conflict, via disadvantages imposed as a result of action rolls. At a certain point, when the resulting disadvantages reduce the attribute’s modifier below -5, the effect of that attribute is completely nullified. In most cases, this means a sort of paralysis for the character in making decisions and taking actions. With certain attributes, described as fatal attributes, reduction of the modifier below -5 means that the character has died.

Vital

Note that many exceptional attributes are necessarily vital in nature when granted by magic, psychic abilities, or super powers. Many of these are implied below, but are better described in the chapter Creating Character – Skills (q.v.). When these exceptional skills are expressed as attributes, the duration of their effect is determined by the attribute PERSISTENCE, described below.

DISCIPLINE – ability to resist the pull of some drives in favor of others. Using DISCIPLINE requires that there is both a drive to be resisted and a drive to be supported. This attribute’s modifier is subtracted from the drive being resisted or added to the drive being supported. If a character’s DISCIPLINE ever drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of making decisions.

DISCIPLINE can also be specified to a particular drive to be resisted or supported. If specified DISCIPLINE drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of making decisions affected by the relevant drive.

ENERGY – ability to apply one’s will to modify action checks against other vital attributes and skills. This is particularly useful for characters with supernatural powers. Think of it as “Force sensitivity” in the Star Wars setting or being a wizard in the Harry Potter universe. ENERGY is a fatal attribute; if it drops below -5 during the course of play, the character dies.

ENERGY can also be  specified to affect action rolls against a specific vital attribute or skill. If specified ENERGY drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of taking actions in regard to the modified attribute or skill.

PRESENCE – ability to apply one’s will to gathering information. This modifies social attributes EMPATHY, DETECTION, ACUTENESS, TACTICAL SENSE, INSIGHTS, STRATEGIC SENSE, and ACUMEN and mental attributes AWARENESS, PERCEPTION, SENSITIVITY, DISCERNMENT, TACTICAL THINKING, SHREWDNESS, STRATEGIC THINKING, and VISION. Even though it is broadly specified, it is still treated as a general attribute. If PRESENCE drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of making any sense of new information.

RESOLVE – ability to apply one’s will to affecting others. Modifies the physical attributes FORCE, GRIP, DEXTERITY, BALANCE, and AIM, the social attributes CHARM and ELICITATION, and the mental attributes of WIT and RHETORIC. Even though it is broadly specified, it is still treated as a general attribute. If RESOLVE drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of trying to influence others.

PERSISTENCE – how long vital exertion can go on. Modifies all purely vital attributes and skills. PERSISTENCE is a fatal attribute; if it drops below -5 during the course of play, the character dies.

Vital/Physical

TOUGHNESS – ability to ignore pain. When the character suffers physical damage, if it’s bad enough the narrator can call for an action roll against TOUGHNESS. Failure of the action roll means loss of next action as the character reacts to the pain. If TOUGNESS drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is paralyzed by even the slightest pain and incapable of taking any action.

RESISTANCE – ability to fight off dangerous physical influences in the environment. Specified by influences like heat, cold, suffocation, and high or low pressure. If RESISTANCE drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of taking any action under even the slightest influence of the relevant factors of the environment.

CONTROL – ability to fight off instinctive reactions like sneezing, vomiting, coughing, scratching an itch, or involuntarily urinating or defecating. This is distinct from POISE and COMPOSURE, but can be paired with them when the situation calls for it. Note that reactions which are the result of a toxin or disease, for example vomiting from a stomach bug, would also bring IMMUNITY into play. If CONTROL drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of resisting instinctive reactions.

CONTROL can also be  specified to affect rolls against a specific types of reaction or stimulus. If specified CONTROL drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of resisting the specified reaction or reactions against the specified stimulus.

IMMUNITY – ability to fight off toxins and diseases. Specified per toxin or disease. If IMMUNITY drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of resisting the relevant toxin or disease.

Exceptional IMMUNITY would include perils normal humans have no immunity to, like magic, electricity, and radiation.  If exceptional IMMUNITY drops below -5 during the course of play, it renders the character normal.

ENDURANCE – how long physical exertion can go on, driven by the character’s sheer willpower. Can modify FORCE, GRIP, TOUGHNESS, BALANCE, etc. And ENDURANCE roll is usually called for by the narrator when physical exertion has gone on for a while. ENDURANCE is a fatal attribute; if it drops below -5 during the course of play, the character dies.

Vital/Social

FOCUS – ability to intensify one’s characteristics to a the current social situation. A FOCUS roll can be requested by the player to modify the character’s subsequent social action rolls. If FOCUS drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of processing social dynamics.

VERSATILITY – ability to apply social attributes on novel emotions or social situations. The novel emotion can be the reaction of other characters (not being accustomed to seeing a grown man cry, for example) or in the character himself or herself (like experiencing a form of defeat for the first time). Novel social situations can include being excluded from a conversation by a language the character doesn’t understand, being thrust into an event driven by a culture or class the character is unfamiliar with, or being seduced for the first time. If FOCUS drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of processing novel social dynamics.

PERSEVERANCE – how long social exertion can go on, driven by the character’s willpower. A PERSEVERANCE roll is usually called for by the narrator when social negotiations have gone on for a while. If FOCUS drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of carrying out social actions as they are exhausted.

Vital/Social/Physical

POISE – how well one can avoid reacting physically to emotional stimuli. This is particularly important when the character’s drives are engaged by the situation. Closely related to VERSATILITY. But, POISE focuses on the initial physical expression of surprise or confusion, while VERSATILITY concerns the subsequent ability to figure out the novel situation or emotion. If POSE drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of resisting reactions to emotional stimuli.

Vital/Mental

ATTENTION – how long mental exertion can go on. An ATTENTION roll is usually called for by the narrator when mental investigations have gone on for a while. If ATTENTION drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of making decisions or taking actions as the character is exhausted.

ADAPTABILITY – ability to apply mental attributes on novel types of ideas, meaning information the character is not used to processing. For example, learning a second language (but not a third), seeing a technology for the first time, or being confronted with an unfamiliar custom. If ADAPTABILITY drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of processing novel ideas.

CONCENTRATION – ability to intensify one’s characteristics to the current mental situation. A CONCENTRATION roll can be requested by the player to modify the character’s subsequent mental action rolls. If CONCENTRATION drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of making decisions or taking actions.

Vital/Mental/Physical

COMPOSURE – how well one can avoid reacting badly to disruptively novel information. Closely related to ADAPTABILITY. But, COMPOSURE focuses on the initial physical expression of surprise or confusion, while ADAPTABILITY concerns the subsequent ability to figure out the novel information. If COMPOSURE drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of resisting reactions to novel information.

Physical

FORCE – full body strength – affects lifting, shoving, drawing by harness. FORCE is a fatal attribute; if it drops below -5 during the course of play, the character dies.

GRIP – holding strength – affects yanking, pulling. Specified by hands, arms, legs, even mouth if the player wants to get weird with it. If GRIP drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of taking any actions.

CONSTITUTION – ability to remain undamaged by physical damage. CONSTITUTION is a fatal attribute; if it drops below -5 during the course of play, the character dies.

CONSTITUTION can be specified by type of physical damage: puncture, laceration, abrasion, bruising, breaks. Nevertheless, CONSTITUTION remains a fatal attribute. If specified CONSTITUTION drops below -5 during the course of play, the character dies.

FLEXIBILITY- how far one can bend and contort one’s body. If FLEXIBILITY drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of taking any actions.

AGILITY – full body placement of one’s body. If AGILITY drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of taking any actions.

DEXTERITY – ability to manipulate small objects. Must be specified by hands, feet, mouth. If DEXTERITY drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of taking any actions.

BALANCE – ability to maintain one’s placement against gravity (or its absence) and/or limited footing. If DEXTERITY drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of taking any actions.

AIM – targeting of missiles, whether thrown, kicked, or shot. If AIM drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of taking any actions.

AIM can be specified by skill. If specified AIM drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of taking any actions in the specified skill.

PACE – maximum pace of locomotion. Specified by mode of movement: swimming, sprinting, jogging, walking, climbing, crawling. Note that a character with a specified walking PACE would have a high daily movement rate, but not be able to run particularly fast. Likewise, a character with a specified sprinting PACE would be able to race short distances at top speed without moving more rapidly in the long term. Exceptional PACE can include non-human modes of movement, like flight. If PACE drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of taking any actions.

SPEED – rate of reaching PACE consciously, i.e., not under surprise. If SPEED drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of taking any actions.

HEIGHT – a measure of the character’s height. The character’s bulk can be informed by other attributes like FORCE and WEIGHT.

WEIGHT – a measure of the character’s body fat, generally incurring penalties rather than bonuses. This is not an absolute measure, but relative to the character’s height, so taller characters might have a greater absolute mass without having a higher WEIGHT. At the narrator’s discretion, WEIGHT attributes can limit other physical attributes like SPEED, PACE, REACTION, etc.

Physical/Social

ASPECT – how easily remembered the character is based on his or her physical appearance. Specified by looks, voice, gait. Also specified as sympathetic, erotic, disgusting, intimidating, striking, etc. which can incur either bonuses or penalties.

EXPRESSION – how well the character can convey emotion when he/she chooses. An EXPRESSION roll would modify subsequent social action rolls. If EXPRESSION drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of conveying any emotion.

EXPRESSION can be specified by the emotion to be conveyed. If specified EXPRESSION drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of taking any actions to specified emotion to be conveyed.

MELODY – how well the character manages tone to social effect. Can include musical talent (whether singing or with an instrument) but also the melody of one’s speech.

RHYTHM – how well the character manages time to social effect. Can include musical talent but also the rhythm of one’s speech. Also can modify crafting skills that rely on repeated motions, like the hammering of a smith.

Physical/Mental

TARGETING – ability to intensify one’s mind on a physical situation. Modifies physical attributes like AIM, BALANCE, DEXTERITY, etc. If TARGETING drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of taking any physical actions.

ARTICULATION – how well the character can convey ideas when he/she chooses. An ARTICULATION roll would modify subsequent attempts to communicate information. If ARTICULATION drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of conveying any information.

REACTION – how quickly one can unconsciously (under surprise) go from stasis to action. This can affect lost actions due to ambushes, waking from sleep, etc. If REACTION drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of taking any actions.

REACTION can be specified by the situation in which actions might be lost. For example, ambushes or sleep. If specified REACTION drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of moving from stasis to action in the specified situation.

Social

For social interactions, NRP uses an eight-node emotional model (joy, trust, fear, surprise, sadness, disgust, anger, interest), derived loosely from the four-node model backed up by science (joy, fear, sadness, anger) and related to the ancient theory of humors (sanguine, phlegmatic, melancholic, choleric), four of the Deadly Sins (Sloth, Greed, Envy, Gluttony) and the cardinal virtues (Temperance/Restraint, Prudence/Wisdom, Justice/Objectivity, Fortitude/Forbearance).

The sins drag one outward toward the extremes of the emotional paths, usually giving in to extrinsic drives, while the virtues pull one inward toward calm and sobriety, usually surrendering in to intrinsic drives. It is up to narrator and the players to determine how this affects action rolls. It could be that the dynamic is reversed, an appeal to intrinsic drives pressing a character toward rage or terror, or an affront to extrinsic drives compelling a character toward balance and sobriety.

Each character is determined, by the attribute decisions of the player and the ruling of the narrator, to have a temperament defined by the two types of attributes in which the character is most invested, the primary type and one of the secondary types (q.v. the chart at the right). This temperament modifies roles aiming to affect characters’ emotional state, either by the characters themselves or by outside forces.

See the Conflict chapter for details.

AFFINITY – ability to ascertain another individual’s motivations, as determined by drives, during conversation. Differs from TACTICS and STRATEGY, see below. If AFFINITY drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of taking any social actions.

AFFINITY can be specified by the specific motivations to be ascertained in others. At the narrator’s discretion, this can be doubly specified based on typological context. For example, the ability to detect another’s motivation in combat when physical life is at stake, in socially uncomfortable situations, or when someone (the character or another character) is mentally confused. If specified AFFINITY drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of taking any social actions in regard to the relevant motivations.

EMPATHY – general ability to ascertain another individual’s emotions, based on conversation, posture, facial expression, etc. If EMPATHY drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of taking any social actions. EMPATHY is a fatal attribute; if it remains below -5 for a number of days determined by a d6 roll modified by PERSEVERANCE, the character dies.

EMPATHY can be specified by the specific emotions to be ascertained in others. At the narrator’s discretion, this can be doubly specified based on typological context. For example, the ability to detect another’s emotions in combat when physical life is at stake, in socially uncomfortable situations, or when someone (the character or another character) is mentally confused. If specified EMPATHY drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of taking any social actions in regard to the relevant emotions.

CHARM – how easily one generally inspires desired emotional reactions in others. If CHARM drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of taking any social actions.

CHARM can be specified by the specific emotional reaction one inspires in others. Can be modified by POISE, ASPECT, EXPRESSION, EMPATHY, etc. If specific CHARM drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of taking any social actions in regard to the relevant emotions.

COMPASSION – ability to align one’s goals and drives with another’s goals and drives. This can confer temporary benefits and penalties to action rolls. For example, if the character sensing an NPC’s desire to protect his daughter, the character’s compassion can give him or her temporary bonuses toward that end. The duration of these shared drives is at the discretion of the narrator. If COMPASSION drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of taking any social actions.

INSIGHT – the general ability to detect the emotional state or motivation of small groups of people, up to about a dozen. This helps considerably when the character is in command of small groups of people, but can also be of benefit to individuals. If INSIGHT drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of taking any social actions in regard to small groups of people.

INSIGHT can be specified by the typological context in which one is trying to detect the emotional state or motivation of a small group of people. For example, in combat when physical life is at stake, in socially uncomfortable situations, or when someone (the character or another character) is mentally confused. If specified INSIGHT drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of taking any social actions in regard to small groups of people and the relevant context.

ACUMEN – the general ability to detect the emotional state or motivation of large groups of people. This helps considerably when the character is in command of large groups of people, but can also be of benefit to individuals. If ACUMEN drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of taking any social actions in regard to large groups of people.

ACUMEN can be specified by the typological context in which one is trying to detect the emotional state or motivation of a large group of people. For example, in combat when physical life is at stake, in socially uncomfortable situations, or when someone (the character or another character) is mentally confused. If specified ACUMEN drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of taking any social actions in regard to large groups of people and the relevant context.

Social/Mental

FAMILIARITY – the general ability to remember social details, like the names, relationships, and drive of others. If FAMILIARITY drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of recalling any social details.

FAMILIARITY can be specified by the specific set of details about which one attempts to remember social details, like why someone has a certain name, how that person’s relationships affect their social status, or how their drives are conflicted or whence they originated. If specified FAMILIARITY drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of recalling social details in the specified set.

SHARPNESS – the speed at which one makes social judgments. Modifies all social attributes. If SHARPNESS drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of taking any social actions.

Mental

Many mental attributes rely on a field of information for their modifiers. These fields of information can modify skills reliant on mental attributes. These fields are necessary simple in Primal settings and become more specialized in more advanced tech levels. See the chapter on Social and Mental Skills for more details.

AWARENESS – general ability to unconsciously detect information in one’s environment. AWARENESS is a fatal attribute; if it remains below -5 for a number of days determined by a d6 roll modified by ATTENTION, the character dies.

AWARENESS can be specified by sense: sight, hearing, touch, smell, etc.  At the narrator’s discretion, can be further specified by context. For example, the ability to see things in low light conditions or in “busy” scenes, or the ability to hear things despite ambient noise, etc. If specified AWARENESS drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of detecting any information in the relevant sense.

Exceptional AWARENESS would include things like infrared or ultraviolet light, infra- or ultra-sound, and smelling chemicals normal humans can’t detect. If exceptional AWARENESS drops below -5 during the course of play, it renders the character normal.

PERCEPTION – the ability to consciously seek out information in one’s environment. If PERCEPTION drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of detecting information.

PERCEPTION can be specified by sense: sight, hearing, touch, smell, etc.  At the narrator’s discretion, can be further specified by context. For example, the ability to see things in low light conditions or in “busy” scenes, or the ability to hear things despite ambient noise, etc. If specified PERCEPTION drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of detecting any information in the relevant sense.

Exceptional PERCEPTION would include things like infrared or ultraviolet light, infra- or ultra-sound, and smelling chemicals normal humans can’t detect. If exceptional PERCEPTION drops below -5 during the course of play, it renders the character normal.

REASON – ability to manipulate ideas logically. As the characters might have higher reason than their players, successful REASON rolls can result in the narrator providing the characters with information and conclusions the players might not be able to reason out for themselves. If REASON drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of making decisions or taking actions.

REASON can be specified to modify the ability to manipulate ideas logically on a specific type of ideas: numbers, culture, politics, mechanics, substances, etc. This heavily influences skills. If specified REASON drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of mental actions in regard to the specified type of ideas.

MEMORY – information storage. That is, how many bits of information the character can retain. MEMORY rolls are what happens when the player asks the narrator if the character might know something. If MEMORY drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of making decisions or taking actions. MEMORY is a fatal attribute; if it remains below -5 for a number of days determined by a d6 roll modified by ATTENTION, the character dies.

MEMORY can be specified to represent information storage on a specific type of ideas: numbers, culture, politics, mechanics, substances, etc. Specified MEMORY rolls are what happens when the player asks the narrator if the character might know something about a specific type of knowledge. If specified MEMORY drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of recalling any information on the specified type of ideas.

WIT – speed at which one makes mental judgments. Modifies all mental attributes. If WIT drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of making decisions or taking actions.

DISCOURSE – ability to frame convincing rational arguments. Affects social attributes like CHARM and ELICITATION. If RHETORIC drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of conveying any information.

SHREWDNESS – general ability to detect the practical abilities of small groups of people, up to about a dozen. This helps considerably when the character is in command of small groups of people, but can also be of benefit to individuals. If SHREWDNESS drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of taking any mental actions in regard to small groups of people.

SHREWDNESS can be specified to modify the ability to work out the practical abilities of small groups by categorical context. See DISCERNMENT. If specified SHREWDNESS  drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of taking any mental actions in regard to small groups of people and the relevant context.

VISION – general ability to detect the practical abilities of large groups of people. This helps considerably when the character is in command of large groups of people, but can also be of benefit to individuals. If VISION drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of taking any mental actions in regard to large groups of people.

VISION can be specified to modify the ability to work out the practical abilities of large groups of people specified by categorical context. See DISCERNMENT. If specified VISION drops below -5 during the course of play, the character is rendered incapable of taking any mental actions in regard to large groups of people and the relevant context.