Time & Temp Questions & Answers

If you’ve got questions, I’ve got answers. Hit me up in the comments and we’ll make this happen.

Or mosey on over to the new forums and ask them there!


  1. Michael · September 25, 2009

    I cringe posting this, but I just figured I’d make you and anyone else paying attention that I created a group on facebook for Time and Temp.


  2. Michael · September 25, 2009

    I do have one question so far off the top of my head. (unfortunately I’ve been both exhausted and busy and haven’t had a time to make a good list of questions so far.)

    can you go into more detail on rolling for paradox? Some of the confusion I have so far is that I could have sworn I read in the game texts something along the lines of “you don’t need to ever roll 4 d20’s for paradox. Start by rolling 3d20’s” but I listened to the podcast and you said that you’d start by rolling 4d20’s.

    Also, I’m not exactly clear as to what you mean by a paradox die being “locked in” and how that changes the number of d20’s to roll.

    For example. Let’s say I’m going to roll for the first paradox. I roll 3 or 4 d20’s. Now, do I choose just ONE of those dice for the number spot I fill in on the Anachronometrics? I’m a bit lost. Not sure if I’m overlooking something or I’m just dense.

    • Epidiah · September 25, 2009

      Hey Michael,

      First off, thanks for the Facebook group! No cringing necessary!

      Now, time to roll up the sleeves and address the paradox issue.

      When you start with a fresh new matrix (which is whenever you travel to a new time and place), you have four unlocked paradox dice. These are d20s.

      As you start messing around in the past, you start rolling your other dice and putting numbers in the matrix. Every time you put a number in the matrix, you check that same number off on the Anachrometer.

      Once a number has been checked off three or more times, it threatens paradox.

      So let’s say the number 1 has been checked off two times. And, while attempting to convince Davy Crockett and the rest to stay and defend the Alamo, you roll another 1. It’s your third 1, so it threatens paradox, which means it’s time to roll the paradox dice.

      Pick up those d20s and roll them. If any of them come up numbers that threaten paradox (in this case, the number 1), they get locked in. Leave the locked dice on the values they rolled. You might even want to put them on the Matrix card next to the different stages of the paradox dice to remind you what their effects are.

      So let’s say you rolled a 3, a 17 and a 1 on your paradox dice. That 1 threatens paradox. So you now have one locked in paradox die. (This means that from here on out, you’ll be rolling an extra die whenever you try to do stuff.) Leave that d20 on 1 and set the rest aside.

      Next time you get a number that threatens paradox, you roll the remaining unlocked dice. Repeat the process until the temps have left the matrix (usually to go back home after a job well done) or until all four paradox dice are locked in (in which case there is no home to go back to).

      It’s unlikely to happen (a 1 in 8,000 chance), but if you did roll all 1s on that first paradox roll, it would really, really, really suck. So there’s a rule that says you can’t roll more than three of the paradox dice at a time, thus preventing you from ending the universe the first time you roll them. I must have misspoke on the podcast.

      As the game progresses, more and more numbers are going to start threatening paradox, and you’ll have less and less paradox dice to roll. Things heat up fast at that point.

      Let’s fast forward in our example. You’ve convinced Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie stay and defend the Alamo, but as the siege wears on, you’ve discovered that Texan militants from the year 2035 have been been trying to smuggle plasma rifles and force field generators into the past to aid them. Unfortunately, one of the Texans has also discovered you. A struggle ensues, you roll, and the only result you can accept is a 4.

      Right now, you have three 4s in the matrix. As well as three 1s and five 2s. You only have that one paradox die locked in from before, so you’ve been lucky. You put that 4 in the matrix and you’re going to have to roll your remaining three unlock paradox dice. But what the hell. No guts, no glory!

      Let’s say those paradox dice come up 16, 2, and 1. Since both 2 and 1 threaten paradox (even if they aren’t the number you just put in the matrix) both of those dice get locked in. Which means the anomalies escalate twice and you only have one paradox die left! Best tread wisely when messing with the rest of these Future Texans.

      Does that clear things up?

      • Michael · September 25, 2009

        So the last 4 rows on the Anachronometric would only be filled in (at least the first bubble) by the rules that cover the whole “for the amount of time a Badguy is in the time frame fill in the lowest bubble) thing…at least until such time as those first bubbles are filled. Once that happens, anytime you roll the d20’s for paradox within those ranges the die would get locked in. Ie. The BIGBAD has been in the timeframe for…say an hour or whatever. enough to fill in the first bubble in the XIX-XX range. paradox is rolled. One of the Xd20’s comes up 19. That dice is now locked since it’s the second time the number has been filled and threatens paradox.
        (I’m currently trying to bash a matrix/anachronometric together in office to use for a visual aid as I ask questions. No guarantee I can figure out how to post it onliine)

      • Epidiah · September 25, 2009

        Yeah, the last four rows are for the Bad Guys. But its not based on how much in-game time the Bad Guy has been in the timeframe. It’s for how long you’ve been playing. So a Big Bad with a Menace Rating of 2 on the Temporal Villainy Index would check one of those off after you’ve been playing for an hour. And then again after you’ve been playing for two hours, at which point it threatens paradox and can lock dice.

        Also, if you’ve got Acrobat Reader, I’ve to the matrix and the anachronometer over here for you to look at.

      • Michael · September 25, 2009

        Here’s a really crappy example I bashed together. (It looked fine when I made it in office, but when I uploaded it to google it got really wonky and I had to try and get it readable)

      • Michael · September 25, 2009
      • Epidiah · September 25, 2009

        Ah! I see the confusion now. The visual aid definitely helped.

        Paradox dice do not mark off numbers on the anachronometer and do not add numbers to the matrix. They simply react to the numbers that are already there.

        So the d20 that rolled a 2 in your example would not get locked in, because there are only two 2s in the matrix.

      • Michael · September 25, 2009

        “So let’s say the number 1 has been checked off two times. And, while attempting to convince Davy Crockett and the rest to stay and defend the Alamo, you roll another 1. It’s your third 1, so it threatens paradox, which means it’s time to roll the paradox dice.

        New question. In the podcast (but not from reading the material. Again, not sure if I overlooked it or not) I learned how rolls are resolved. ie. Taking the lowest number rolled is a success, the second lowest is a failure without incident and taking the highest is a failure with incident.

        If that’s the case, then anytime I roll a single die, I automatically succeed?

        So, could it be said that rolling LESS dice is better? Granted, rolling more dice means you have greater options of numbers to choose from to plug into the matrix and get things like sync tokens and can pick and choose which numbers are plugged into the anachronometric thus avoiding a paradox roll. But, on the other side of it, you’ve now gotten the chance to fail the goal you were trying to achieve. Also, you mentioned in the podcast the lowest, the second lowest and the highest. What if there are more than 3 dice? (Maybe I’m remembering it wrong. Maybe it was lowest, second lowest, and third lowest. In which case, it doesn’t matter if you’re rolling 5 dice.) But what if you’re rolling 2 dice? Is the second, higher value treated as a failure without Incident or a Failure with Incident?

      • Epidiah · September 25, 2009

        Good stuff!

        If that’s the case, then anytime I roll a single die, I automatically succeed?

        So, could it be said that rolling LESS dice is better?

        So yes, if you roll a single die, you automatically succeed. There are many cases where that would be a very good thing, but there are many where that would be rather dangerous. When the matrix gets tight, you start to welcome incident and failure.

        Also, you mentioned in the podcast the lowest, the second lowest and the highest. What if there are more than 3 dice? (Maybe I’m remembering it wrong. Maybe it was lowest, second lowest, and third lowest. In which case, it doesn’t matter if you’re rolling 5 dice.) But what if you’re rolling 2 dice? Is the second, higher value treated as a failure without Incident or a Failure with Incident?

        In the rules it’s the lowest, second lowest (which gives you the choice of incident or failure), and third lowest. I probably said highest in the podcast because I was imagininga situation in which only three dice were being rolled. There are situations in which more than three will be rolled, however, so you’re absolutely correct in noting that distinction.

        The number of dice you roll is determined by what you’re risking. You roll one die automatically for anything that requires a roll (which is listed under “When to Roll?”) plus one die if you risk failure and plus one die if you risk incident. So if you’re only rolling two dice, you’re only risking one or the other. A second higher value would then be a failure if you risked failure, or an incident if you risked incident.

        And shit, I just found my first glaring errata. Fortunately, it’s more embarrassing than crippling. On the page where it tells you what dice and how many to roll, the titles “What Size Dice?” and “How Many Dice?” should be swapped. Curses!

  3. Joshua · October 25, 2009

    I just listened to your interview on The Gamemaster Show and I am very interested in this game. I would buy a hard copy but all I saw was the .pdf on your website. Since I didn’t see it on IPR’s website I will assume you don’t have it ready for sale there yet.(or I am a retard and couldn’t find it) When will a hard copy be available? Is there anything that I will be losing out on if I just buy the .pdf version from your website such as the free updates or anything that comes in the hard copy set that is not in the .pdf?

    Thanks for putting out such an interesting product. I am very excited about playing this game.

    • Epidiah · October 25, 2009

      Right now, I’m playing a game of cat and mouse with UPS (who are apparently afraid of my neighborhood). So I can’t say exactly when the hard copies will be available, but hopefully soon. The good news is, you don’t have to wait. If you get the PDF sometime between now and the end of the month, you’ll be discounted the full price of the PDF if you buy your hard copy from me. So you don’t have to miss a thing or pay any extra. Details here.

      For a list of the differences between the hard copy (the Unbound Edition) and the PDF (the Paperless Office Edition), check out the FAQ.

      • Joshua · October 25, 2009

        I told you there was the possibility that I was mentally slow. It seems the case is building…

        Thank-you for the speedy reply!

      • Epidiah · October 25, 2009

        You are quite welcome!

  4. michael · January 23, 2010

    Since the players are the ones that do all the rolling in the game, and the only ones to enter numbers into the matrix AND the bad guy’s existence in the timeframe is taken care of by the “mark dot when playing for X time”…how does combat work? If one of the players attempts to punch the bad guy, he could easily roll three dice. If the badguy wants to punch somebody….how does it work? Does he just succeed because I said so? Do the temps roll to avoid the fist flying at them?

    The other question is one about extra dice.

    so, as has been covered numerous times, 1 die default, +1 if failure +1 if incident +1 if bickering. But the only way to gain access to the higher number is for someone involved in the bickering to accept an automatic incident. BUT, if a paradox die is locked, that’s 1+1+1+1(+1 if bickering). What is the mechanic for gaining use of the extra die due to a locked paradox die?

    • Epidiah · January 23, 2010

      Good questions!

      Combat: It’s best not to think of combat in the traditional RPG sense when running Time & Temp. This sort of thing is usually handled with a single roll rather than a back and forth. But there are definitely moments where you just want to punch the temps, and they’re easy to do. The “When to Roll?” section of the rules tells you that you should roll when the temp’s actions could clearly change history, when they are opposed by another character, or when they risk failure or incident. This very last one is the important one.

      When the guard just wants to hit the temp in the face with his rifle butt, the temp risks incident. Have them roll normally, 1 die plus the extra die for risking incident, and proceed from there. If they put the lower number in the Matrix, they take the rifle butt to face (and probably get a broken nose). If they put the higher number in, they avoided.

      The key here is not to get confused by failure. When the temp is just risking getting hurt like this, failure means the same thing as incident, so there’s no need to risk it. The temp isn’t doing anything that can be failed (beyond just getting hurt).

      Now a proactive temp may say, “Wait, I want to sucker punch that guard before he rifle butts me.” And now you have yourself something to fail. And a combat! Roll this normally, with the risk of failure and incident.

      Extra Dice: When you have an extra die because of paradox (because that first Paradox Die is locked in, because a character is Bilocated, or because there’s an Obvious Anomaly about), that die is supposed to be dead weight. It’s essentially a way of driving all of your results down into the lower numbers. Normally, when there’s an extra die because of the risk of paradox, you just can’t choose the highest value on table to put in the Matrix.

      But fret not! There’s a way to deal with that extra die. The Local Bonus gives you a bonus for having one or more people native to the time and place you’re in doing your dirty work. If you can convince the locals to do what you need done, you get this bonus, and this bonus is special, because it’s the only bonus that can be spent to get rid of the extra die that comes from the risk of paradox.

      (Note, however, there is a little bit of a twist here. Normally the Local Bonus only affects the extra die that comes from a Paradox Die being locked in. Obvious Anomalies and Bilocated temps are just too weird for the locals to handle without the risk of paradox. But, if the local you’re using is a Hidden Agent, the bonus they give you can also handle extra dice from Obvious Anomalies and Bilocated temps, because they’ve been told what to expect and can be somewhat trusted to keep their mouths shut afterwards.)

  5. Michael · May 29, 2010

    Ok, new question. Anomalies. In the game, when anomalies occur, part of the mechanic is the ability to switch the position of any two numbers(or number and a blank square) BUT!! anomalies are caused by placing the same number adjacent to itself. If there’s a game going on, and a 7 is rolled, and placed next to another 7 in the matrix this would cause, say, Deja vu to occur, but the player uses the ability to move the numbers and places the 7 in a complete random spot away from the previous 7. Does the anomaly still exist? Does it still happen and stick around or does the anomaly get negated by its own mechanic?

    • Epidiah · June 2, 2010

      Sorry about the late reply, long weekend and all.

      The anomaly does not disappear. Anomalies happen the moment the number is entered into the Matrix. Anything that happens after that doesn’t have an effect on them. This is in fact a tactic that I’ve been known to use when I play. Deja vu is a great anomaly to have. So when I see an opportunity to create it, such as placing your 7 next to the other 7, I do. Then, if having those two 7s together could spoil a synchronic set, I swap the 7 I just placed out for a blank spot far away. So I get my deja vu and maintain whatever synchronic set or sets we might be gunning for.

  6. Claudio · December 7, 2010

    Once a d20 paradox dice has been locked in, let’s say on a 1, does that value still threaten paradox? In our game we used to mark the number on the anachronometer with a dot and when it was locked in we crossed it out. So to end the universe you needed four different values locked in OR four times the same value locked in, but only if that value appeared at least six times from beginning of play (two on the left side of the line and four on the right). Or any other combination.

    • Epidiah · December 7, 2010

      Intriguing question.

      When a Paradox Die locks in, the number it locks in on does still threatens paradox. So you could, for example, have several Paradox Dice locked in on 1 even though 1 has only occurred three times in the Matrix.

      I am, however, curious about your version, and may try it out.

  7. Epidiah · December 17, 2010

    Just wanted to let folks know that over here is another place you can ask Time & Temp questions and find passable answers.

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