Carcharhinid Sharks in GURPS

Carcharhinid, or requiem, sharks are the sort of critter that most people envision when they think of sharks: streamlined, slender bodied, with various large traingular fins and a mouth filled with sharp teeth. The family includes a large number of largely similar species, inhabiting nearly all tropical and subtropical waters from rivers and estuaries to reefs, shallow near shore environments, andthe open ocean. Their spread seems only limited by cooler temperatures. They are opportunistic predators, consuming fish, squid, crabs, sea turtles, carrion, water birds, sea snakes, and nearly any other meat that presents itself.

Requiem sharps posess the sensory suite typical of sharks, with good vision, a phenomenal sense of smell, and separate senses to detect the vibrations and bioelectric fields of nearby prey. Oddly enough, sharks, including the requiem sharks, seem to lack a normal sense of pain and will continue vigorous activity even after being severely wounded.

Requiem sharks are typically slow moving, although they can put on impressive bursts of speed when they are pursuing prey. Those that inhabit the open ocean never stop swimming even to sleep or rest. The near shore varieties will often stop swimming to rest on the ocean bottom.

Requiem sharks are often bold, even fearless, around humans. This behavior leads to tales of these sharks "aggressiveness." While certainly unnerving, most encounters with these sharks are harmless. However, the larger requiem sharks can pose a significant threat to humans. Their broad diet means that people are considered fair game when encountered by sharks that are big enough. When the requiems sense the presence of food, either the vibrations of a struggling fish or the scent of blood, they can become very pushy and agressive. They are known to enter a feeding frenzy in these circumstances, attacking anything with the faintest hint it might be edible. When this occurs in a large school of sharks, bites are likely.

When attacking, a requiem shark bites and thrashes. This allows its steak-knife teeth to saw out chunks of meat from its victim. Although the steak-knife structure of teeth cause massive wounds, they are not particularly effective against armor. Shark teeth are replaced regularly, if a few break it is of no great loss since new ones will quickly grow back.

A few of the more common and more notorious requiem sharks are listed below. Other species are similar enough to use the same game statistics with little or no modification.

Game Statistics

choose a species:
Species tiny
25 kg
50 kg
100 kg
150 kg
300 kg
600 kg
1000 kg
enter weight (kg)
Tiger shark

Bull shark

Oceanic whitetip shark

Blue shark

Blacktip shark

Grey Reef shark

The radio button entries in the table above give realistic sizes of the species of that row. If you want a specimen outside that range, enter the weight in kg manually.

Marking the T? checkbox will give you the stats in template form with all costs listed, otherwise you get a stat sheet as for a character.

Marking the HR? checkbox will print the information using all my house rules. Otherwise, the stats will be as compatable with plain vanilla GURPS as possible (although several custom advantages and disadvantages will be present, see my Traits page).

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