Rhinoceroses in GURPS

Rhinoceroses are large, barrel-bodied animals with humps on their shoulders, three toes per foot, a short rope-like tail, and a very large head which in most species sprouts large conical horns from the nose or between the eyes. This horn is used as a tool to scrape away ground, push aside underbrush, and knock down branches and small trees. It is also used as a weapon, to settle conflicts or drive away potential predators.

Despite their massive appearance, rhinoceroses are fast runners. They do not have much endurance, and typically only gallop for short distances.

Rhinos have an excellent sense of smell. Their huge nasal cavities allow them to process a rich worlds of odors and scents. Their hearing is also keen, capable of picking up small russles and footfalls and locating their position. A rhino's eyesight, however, is notoriousy poor. They peer around rather myopically, turning the side of their head toward what bothers them since they cannot see past their huge noses, and have a difficulty time distinguishing much more than the presense of motion or large obstructions.

Rhinoceroses are herbivores. Some species specialize in browsing, others in grazing. They drink frequently, visiting watering holes several times per day if possible, and enjoy wallowing in the mud. If the mud dries up too much, they will scrape away dirt with their horns to get to the underlying water.

A cranky or annoyed rhino will lower its nose horn and charge, attempting to slam, trample, and impale what is bothering it. The huge size, armored skin, fearsome armaments, and often irritable temper of these behemoths means that very few things will risk bothering an adult. A few species bite rather than gouging with the horn, but they still charge and knock over minor irritants like humans that get too close.

Most rhinos are solitary beasts, except for cows followed by their (usually single) calf. A few species will gather in small groups of females and young. Adult males are almost always loners. They mark their territory with dung piles and spraying urine, and by roughing up innocent brush and other vegetation with their horns. Rhinos leave scent trails so others of their kind know they are about by stamping in their dung and tracking the scent around.

Game Statistics

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

White Rhinoceros

Indian Rhinoceros

Javan Rhinoceros

Sumatran Rhinoceros

Wooly Rhinoceros (extinct)

Elasmotherium (extinct)

Menoceras (extinct)

Diceratherium (extinct)

Diceratherium armatum (extinct)

Subhyracodon (extinct)

Stephanorhinus (extinct)

Teleoceras (extinct)

Peraceras (extinct)

Chilotherium (extinct)

Aphelops mutilus (extinct)

Aphelops malacorhinus (extinct)

Aphelops megalodus (extinct)

Aceratherium (extinct)

Hyracodontids (all extinct)



The radio button entries in the table above give typical sizes of the rhino 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 rhino.

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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