When does combat begin and end?
Combat begins when the Gamemaster tells the players to roll initiative. While rolling initiative, players need to:
Roll and tell their initiative to the Gamemaster.
Reset all stats to base values.
Reclaim all of their 36 cards (if they haven’t already), and shuffle their Draw Deck.
Draw 6 cards.
Decide which color realm they will begin combat focusing into.
Combat ends when the Gamemaster says it has ended. If a Gamemaster isn’t sure, they can keep turn order going, and then when the next roll for initiative comes up, that will reset combat (forcing the players to complete the above steps to begin a new encounter).
Am I an ally or enemy of myself?
In IRIS, no, you are not an ally or enemy of yourself. An ally is typically one of your teammates, and an enemy is typically the characters trying to kill you. See page 17 in the rulebook for further clarification.
(Existentially speaking, are you an ally or enemy of yourself? Let's grab a coffee and chat sometime.)
Can I target myself?
Unless a card specifies a certain target who can't be you (i.e. an enemy or ally within Range), you can always target yourself. You are always included in the phrase "any character within Range," as you are always within Range of yourself.
How is line of sight determined?
There are two methods for determining line of sight.
Can you draw a straight line from any point on Character A’s hex tile to any point on Character B’s hex tile? If so, those characters have line of sight on each other. This method makes breaking line of sight more difficult but is very specific in determining line sight.
Can you draw a straight line from the center of Character A’s hex tile to the center of Character B’s hex tile? If so, those characters have line of sight on each other. This method makes breaking line of sight easier but is less specific for determining where to measure from (the “center of the hex tile” is more vague to determine, unless you have a ruler or you’re John Forbes Nash, Jr.).
Have your group pick their preferred method, and stick with it.
Can I play a support-only deck (no or minimal damage cards)?
Yes, you certainly can, and we'd recommend the Taes species. Taes are a zero-damage class who change how everyone else plays the game.
If you're playing a non-Taes species, we advise against playing a support-only deck. The issue that we've regularly encountered is that you can only increase Health, Barrier, Move and Range so much before there's no longer a need to gain more of that stat (until a mob of enemies knocks your stats back down). So it's not that support cards aren't valuable and powerful; it's that, ultimately, you always need damage to stop the enemies.
Can my stats increase higher than their base values?
Yes. All stats can be increased beyond their base values (i.e., an ability that increases your Health can increase it above its base value), and unless specified, all stat changes persist throughout an encounter (i.e., if you gain a bonus to damage rolls, that bonus will persist until the next time you roll initiative).
When do my stats return to base values?
Typically during the initiative roll, all stats reset to base values, players shuffle all of their cards together and draw 6 cards, and then players can decide which color realm they will begin in.
The exception is if the adventure notes or the Gamemaster specifies that base stats will not reset to base values during an initiative roll.
Why do my stats reset to base values when I roll initiative?
Thematically, maintaining chromatic effects is strenuous, and the player characters have to catch their breath, which is represented by the stat reset and the Draw Deck shuffle.
In regard to game mechanics, a stat reset and Draw Deck shuffle helps keep the adventure progressing smoothly. Players don’t have to worry about tracking stats and cards from encounter to encounter, and the players (and the Gamemaster) can approach each encounter as an independent puzzle.
As an Achroite, do the cards that I put into a Charge Pile also trigger/resolve?
No, cards that are used to charge up a Charge Pile do not produce any effect, other than to count toward the Charge Cost for the card in play.
As a Seti, when can I play my Passive and Bullet cards?
To play Passive and Bullet cards as a Seti, you must also play a Blaster Rifle during that turn. If you don't have a Blaster Rifle to play or have instead played another Action card that is not Blaster Rifle, you cannot play Passive or Bullet cards. Because Passive and Bullet cards are not labeled as Actions, they can’t be played by themselves.
My Taes character has no more cards. Do I still take my turns?
First off, wow — has your encounter actually lasted more than 36* rounds? You're a reality-warping beast. Take a moment and be proud.
Yes, a Taes with no cards would still take their turns to Move & Shift and Recharge. Any Taes cards played onto your Taes would also take effect.
(*Jared says this can actually be achieved in 31 rounds.)
As a Taes, can I Brighten and Darken the same color realm? Can I stack the effects of Brighten or Darken by playing two of its cards on the same color realm?
Yes to both. You can both Brighten and Darken the same color realm. Affected characters will need to make separate rolls for Fortune and Misfortune. You can also stack the effect (in other words, double the effect) by playing two Brighten or two Darken on the same color realm. Affected characters would then roll twice for the appropriate Fortune or Misfortune.