The cervids, or deer, are a group of cloven-hooved, ruminating, cud-chewing mammals. They can be found in Eurasia and the Americas. Most are forest dwellers, but a few are adapted to swamps, tundra, or rugged hills.
Most male cervids grow many-pronged antlers before the rut, which they use for fighting among themselves. These are shed after several months, and a new set are grown the next year. A few cervids lack antlers but grow elongated tusks that jut down from their upper jaw. In self defense, cervids will often kick with sharp hooves rather than use their antlers.
Cervids are alert and jumpy. They will flee from danger, bounding away at high speed. During the rut, males can get agressive and will occasionally gore people for sport. Females with young will occasionally attack anything they think is threatening their offspring.
Cervids are very agile and athletic. They are fast runners and can clear great heights by jumping. Most are strong swimmers, although they are not highly adapted for water movement. Their long legs, high gait, and slim profile allows them to easily traverse brush and tangled vegetation.
Cervids have excellent hearing, with large swivelling ears that act like radar dishes to amplify and localize sounds. They also have an acute sense of smell. They use scent rubbings to communicate, and can smell predators from some distance away if the predator is upwind. Their eyesight is good at detecting movement, but poor at discerning details or color. Like most mammals, their sense of touch is concentrated around their muzzle, lips, and tongue so that they use their snout where we humans would use our hands.
Cervids can be browsers, selecting buds, leaves, and shoots, or grazers, eating their way across carpets of ground cover. They have ruminating digestive systems - after chewing their food and swallowing it, food is left to ferment and digest for a time before being brought up to be chewed and swallowed again during the cervid's rest period.
Cervids are most active at dusk and dawn. During they day they will bed down in brush or tall grass. Depending on the species, they may be solitary or gather in herds of up to nearly a million animals.
Cervids are commonly hunted by man for meat, leather, and trophies. One species (reindeer) has been domesticated. Others are adpating to humans and moving into our towns and cities, eating our trees, gardens, and ornamental plants.
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The Captive checkbox is for animals that have been kept in captivity all their lives, without the ability to hone their skills like their wild relatives. It would be appropriate for a cervid fed hay or grain and allowed to graze in a protected pasture.
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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