Hippopotamuses in GURPS

A hippopotamus is a large barrel-shaped critter with stubby legs and a large head with a huge mouth and a wide, toothy gape. They are nearly hairless with thick skin, gray-brown to purplish colored with orange-pink patches. Hippos sweat an oily red fluid to keep cool or when excited. This "blood sweat" is thought to prevent sunburn, keep their skin moist, and stops infections.

Hippos have good senses of sight, hearing, and smell, although like most mammals their eyesight is better at detecting motion and seeing in the dark than picking out details compared to a human. Their eyes, ears, and nostrils are located on the top of their head, allowing them to simultaneously see and hear both in and out of the water.

Hippos spend most of the day lounging in the water, and emerge at night to feed on grass. They are not particularly fast, but can still outrun most people on land. Their short legs and large feet with splayed web-toed feet allow them to move easily through deep water and marshy or muddy land. Hippos are not particularly fast swimmers for such an aquatic animal. They are denser than water - this lets them easily walk along the bottom of lakes and rivers, but makes it impossible for them to swim on the surface of deep water.

Hippos can be very dangerous. They attack by biting. Their huge, powerful mouths and gigantic tusk-like fangs inflict horrible wounds.

The table below gives choices for game stats and descriptons of all extant and several extinct hippos. In addition to these, a large number of poorly described species can be found in Europe, Asia, India, and Africa from the Miocene, Pliocene, and Pleistocene - GMs can treat them as the listed versions, including scaling for mass if desired without being too wrong.

Game Statistics

choose a species:
Species Male Female (optional)
enter weight (kg)
Captive? T?HR?

Pygmy Hippopotamus

Hippopotamus gorgops (extinct)

Dwarf Hippopotamus (extinct)

The radio button entries in the table above give typical sizes of the hippo species of the selected sex. If you want a larger or smaller specimen, enter the weight in kg manually.

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 zoo hippo.

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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