Hyenas in GURPS

Hyenas are predator-scavengers that resemble dogs, even though they are more closely related to cats and civets. Modern hyenas live in Africa, India, and the Near and Middle East.

Most living hyenas have powerful jaws, with specialized teeth set near the jaw's fulcrum to act as nut-crackers for breaking up bones to get at the marrow and eat the shards. It is clumsy and difficult to bite with parts near the jaw's fulcrum, however, so hyenas hunt with their canine fangs like all other carnivorans.

Hyenas are primarily terrestrial. They are fast runners, although not all species can run well enough to chase down large game. Hyenas are generally incapable of climbing trees, or much of anything else that would require a Climbing roll. They can swim if necessary.

Hyenas have an excellent sense of smell, which they use to find prey, communicate among themselves, and warn of danger. Their eyesight is good, although like most mammals it is better at detecing motion and seeing in low light than at picking out fine details when compared to that of humans. Hyenas also have good hearing, with swiveling ears that amplify and locate sounds. Their sense of touch is good, but mostly concentrated around the lips where their whiskers help them feel things.

The lifestyles of the different existing hyenas are fairly diverse, ranging from solitary termite eaters to group hunting big game hunters with complex societies.

The extinct percrocutids were only moderately closely related to trye hyenas, but had a smiliar form and (presumably) habits and lifestyle. They are thus included here as well.

Game Statistics

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

Brown Hyena

Striped Hyena

Short-faced Hyena (extinct)


Running Hyena (extinct)

Hunting Hyena (extinct)

Percrocuta (extinct)

Dinocrocuta (extinct)

The radio button entries in the table above give typical sizes of the hyena 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 reflexes, muscles, and skills like their wild relatives. It would be appropriate for a zoo hyena, or a hyena kept as an exotic pet.

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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