Temporal Flux

Set Size5
Number of unique Cards2
RoleDiscard(Assets), Willpower, Stalling
Threat LevelMid
# of scenarios3
VariantsTemporal Hunters
Appears in: Doom of Eztli, Boundary Beyond, Shattered Aeons

My take on this set: This is a rock solid set with a noticeable but not overpowering presence in the encounter deck. Both cards are closely related to infamous encounter cards from the Core, and especially Lost in Time can lead to blowouts if not careful.

Number in the encounter deck: 3

What it does: Another member of the Rotting Remains line of encounter cards, this deals horror depending on how well a player does on a Willpower check. A Tear in Time allows players to mitigate this horror by spending actions instead.

My take: Due to the extra player choice attached, it is by default weaker than Remains, but losing actions is a tough choice to make. So that part will likely only come into play once the investigator is already close to losing his sanity. Most of the time this will just play as a straight up horror for Willpower, which is on the lower end of what is expected from the encounter deck.

Threat level: Low. This kind of card only becomes dangerous once a player draws multiples and is weak in Willpower. Even then, the horror can be mitigated. Since the card allows to lose an action, it lacks the worst case scenario of actually being defeated by its effect.

Dealing with it: The standard ways of mitigating horror all apply. Thanks to the Willpower test and the option to lose an action, the cards has other ways of lowering its impact already built in.

Number in the encounter deck: 2

What it does: The player has to choose one their assets and shuffle it back into the deck. Of note, the limitation to non-story means that cards like the Expedition Journal or Ichtaca are not eligible choices. If damage or horror was placed on the asset, those aren’t discarded but placed on the investigator instead, undoing the soak the asset was used for. Finally, if Lost in Time fails to reshuffle something, the investigator has to discard three cards.

My take: What a terrifying card. It will almost always cause an above average amount of trouble. Crypt Chill from the Core set is high impact enough to warrant playing around and Lost in Time is worse for the players on several levels. The lack of a saving throw and the effect of undoing the soak that the asset was used for are the biggest upsides of this over Crypt Chill – but even the restriction to non-story asset can be relevant in this campaign that is somewhat filled with various story allies and other assets. This is one of the cards from the Forgotten Age that i am most worried about.

Threat level: High. There is almost no way around it, drawing this card is going to cost you.

Dealing with it: The best way of bracing for impact is having cheap sacrifical assets around. Losing a Leather Coat or a Fine Clothes will still cost the card and action to play it, but at least it’s better than having to reshuffle a key ally like Milan or Leo. You could get lucky and have a depleted weapon or tool to feed into Lost in Time, in which case the reshuffle can even turn out to be slightly beneficial. But that’s rarely something to set up on purpose. If cancels like Ward of Protection or Test of Will are available, reserving one to deal with Lost in Time can be worth it.

Return to The Forgotten Age: Temporal Hunters

Set Size5
Number of unique Cards2
RoleDiscard(Assets), Discard(Deck), Discard(Hand)
Threat LevelHigh

My take on this set: My favorite new encounter set from Return to Forgotten Age, even though it doesn’t contain my favorite of the encounter cards (that would be Vengeful Serpent). The Tindalos is a splashy card with lots of board presence and a lynchpin for many interesting interactions between player cards and this treachery-enemy-hybrid. Merging Timelines is a very impactful card and with three of them in the deck, it will make its presence known loud and clear. My one gripe would be that it punishes both Myriad and large handsizes a lot, but to be honest i am not terribly sad about seeing Seekers draw the short straw just this once.

Number in the encounter deck: 3

What it does: Merging Timelines discards five cards off the player’s deck, who will then have to discard any matching card from their hand. For each matching card, they also have to lose one action, potentially costing them their turn. Weaknesses discarded this way are shuffled back into the deck, thus increasing the chance to draw those weaknesses later on.

My take: If stars align against you, you ditch your hand and your turn. Luckily, this is not terribly likely, but even just one match can severely hurt your plans and getting two is often not that unlikely. If it doesn’t hit any matching cards, you get a bit of a breather. It will still advance you towards drawing your weakness and towards decking out, but that isn’t all that bad. This card hits anyone with Myriad cards in their hand pretty bad, good luck assembling a Three Aces with Merging Timelines being in the encounter deck three times.

Threat level: High. Even when you are just being hit for one card and an action, it’s on par with most other treacheries and there is serious potential to scale a lot higher. It does have a chance to near-miss as well, but by and large this is a card to respect.

Dealing with it: Play Highlander decks! Can’t find duplicates in your deck if you aren’t playing any!
Joking aside, it’s not worth compromising your deck for just one encounter card, so there’s not too much you can do about it except play your cards when you draw them and keep your hand lean. The more cards you have in hand, the more likely this card is to cost you those cards and also precious actions. Myriad cards are especially susceptible to this. Play your pendant pieces when you draw them if you have this encounter set against you.

Number in the encounter deck: 2

What it does: Tindalos Alpha is an enemy card, but mostly works like a treachery. Should the Tindalos Alpha attack, the investigator has to shuffle one of their non-story assets back in the deck. It has both Alert and Retaliate, so this attack will also happen if the player fails an attack or evasion against the creature. Tindalos Alpha will discard automatically after making an attack or, should it not have been able to make one until then for some reason, at the end of the enemy phase.

My take: What an interesting take on Lost in Time, the card it replaces. On the one hand, you now can take either an agility or a fight test against difficulty 4 to try and prevent losing your asset. On the other hand, this will actually take one of your actions, something that this sort of saving throw on treacheries doesn’t do. In case you want to fight the Tindalos instead of evading it, you will also need to be able to deal three damage in one blow… or take and pass two tests, spending two actions. But then again, other investigators can do this for you, either fighting the creature for you or engaging and evading it. You could even use something like Spectral Razor to deal with this card. There are a lot of intricate little differences between this sort of creature and a regular treachery and that is super interesting. Great card.

Threat level: High. If things go wrong, you are looking at losing an asset, being dealt a damage and horror and having spent an action on your failed attempt to evade/fight. That’s a lot of fallout from a single card.

Dealing with it: Evading it is certainly the cleanest option, but not every investigator has it. Four agility on the hound is quite a lot, after all. Following that, a single attack for three damage, for example with the Ornate Bow, would also deal with it cleanly.
One option that should not be forgotten is that you can just decide to let it happen. Instead of spending an action on a test that may or may not pass, you could just continue on with whatever you wanted to do and take the attack of opportunity. This will deal a damage and horror each and shuffle a card of your choice back. This can be an option when actions are important or when you can afford to just shuffle back one of your assets. Remember that any damage and horror on that asset are moved to you, so you can not use that same asset to soak the Tindalos attack before reshuffling it. Well, you can but it won’t do you any good…

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