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Talk to the Fish: Instant Adventure -- Part II

Last time in Planning to Improv: Make Your Own Instant Adventure, Part I, we looked at what goes into an Instant Adventure. In Part III, we look at GM Intrusions for your Instant Adventures. Here's the example using Numenera. Talk to the Fish


Ignore the references to mooks in Numenera unless you have Dread Unicorn Game's The Sun Below: City on the Edge, or The Sun Below: Sleeping Lady. If you don't know how to run an rpg montage, see the Sun Below adventures, or the Blogger’s Roundtable of Doom: The Montage.


Liskal is a stunted machine intelligence that would like to repair itself. Its mind is truncated by being forced to exist in our dimension. In the past its mind was transdimensional, but that was a long time ago. Liskal needs a sphere from Le Temple De Toadue to start to reclaim its own mind. It can’t go itself, but it can teleport people. Which is where the players come in.


  • Liskal wants the sphere of night.
  • The sphere is at Le Temple De Toadue.
  • The Toad King regards this sphere as a prized possession. The Toad King can’t remember his own name.
  • Klaru, a Nibovian Wife is in the temple. The Toad King fell for her tricks once, not again. Yet he lets her stay.
  • There are 3 Toad Queens. Queens Deepi, Onea, and Sloomah.
  • Sloomah wants the moon pool fixed. If the PCs do that, she can help convince The Toad King to give up the sphere of night.

Starting Point

The PCs have heard of the giant stone fish, high in the mountains. As they approach, they see blinking lights inside the mouth. Inside is a busted up synth column with 2 shins per PC strewn about.

Wrap Up

The PCs acquire the sphere of night, either through force of arms or by enlisting Queen Sloomah’s help. They bring it back to Liskal, who awards them each 15 shins and a cypher.

Future adventures: If you like, Liskal is not done, and you can use the machine mind to teleport the PCs all over the ninth world and beyond as it slowly builds itself up, piece by hard to get piece.


  1. Toadling servant of Queen Sloomah. Will try to take PCs to the Queen.
  2. Moon Pool Power device. It’s a head-sized green gelatinous egg that glows.
  3. Dead explorer with a detonation (desiccating) cypher. Journal’s last entry: “I got away from the Toad King, now I just have to survive his damned poison.” If found in the fish, it will mention teleporting on “a fool’s errand for a machine.”

Making Instant Adventure Notes:

Each node should have a way for the PCs to interact with it. A person is either at a place or will find the PCs. A location should have something to do there.

What Not To Do

I ran an Instant Adventure using 13th Age rules, and had three "people" (a nasty cultist and two devils) that could find the PCs. And an item that could summon a really nasty devil as a key. I put all four in the secret temple location, and it was a mess. Not every person who wants to find the PCs has to show up at the same time. Doh!

Print Version of The Sun Below: Sleeping Lady Available Now!

Planning to Improv: Make Your Own Instant Adventure, Part I