Lamnid Sharks in GURPS

Lamnid sharks, also known as mackerel sharks, are fast moving predators of the open ocean. They are unusual in that they are warm blooded, expending metabolic energy to keep a high and stable body temperature. This warm bloodedness allows them to maintian high levels of activity in cooler waters. The lamnids have maximally streamlined, teardrop shaped bodies with narrow tails propelling a large caudal fin, with a prominant dorsal fin and pectoral fins. Large eyes and jaws full of sharp teeth complete the appearance of a capable predator.

Like all sharks, the lamnids have an exotic but effective suite of sensors to enable them to locate their prey. Vision, the most familiar to us humans, is sharp. They have an incredible sense of smell, enabling them to home in on prey from a great distance, tracking it through the water. Sharks can hear well, not only through their internal ears, but by using a sensory organ that runs from gills to tail under the skin caled a lateral line. Shark hearing is most sensitive to low frequencies - such as those produced by swimming or struggling fish - and they seem to be nearly deaf to higher frequency sounds. In poor visibility, they can detect anything that moves nearby through the vibrations it gives off, and can detect anything alive in the vicinity by picking up bioelectric fields.

Lamnids eat primarily fish and squid, although their larger members are notorious for predation on sea mammals. They catch their prey in high speed pursuit. The lamnids are amoung the fastest animals of the ocean, and are exceedingly agile, allowing them to catch fast swimming, agile prey such as salmon, mackerel, squid, and sea lions. Lamnids also have good endurance, keeping up their high speed for a considerable time.

When attacking, a lamnid rushes its prey and bites. The teeth are razor-sharp with serrated edges that act like steak-knives. Once the shark has chomped down, it thrashes from side to side to let its teeth saw through its victim, until a large chunk of flesh is bitten through and comes free. The bites of these creatures leave huge, gaping wounds. The wounds bleed copiously and often cripple, disembowel, or dismember the unfortunate recipient of the bite. 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.

Far from being mindless killing machines, the lamnids show a suprizing level of sophisticated behavior. In addition to demonstrating rapid learning and diverse prey capture methods, many species exhibit curiosity and even playfulness. They are known to migrate long distances, although the reasons for these journeys is not yet understood.

Game Statistics

choose a species:
Species tiny
25 kg
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enter weight (kg)
Great white shark

Shortfin mako


Salmon 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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