Saber Tooth Cats in GURPS

Smilodon sp., Megantereon sp.

Saber tooth cats are giant cats that became extinct at the end of the last ice age. They roamed Europe, Asia, North America and South America during the late Pliocene and throughout the Pleistocene. Saber tooths were very stocky and powerfully built, but were probably slower than other cats. Their tails were bob-tails like that of a modern lynx. There is evidence that saber tooths lived and hunted in prides like modern lions.

Their most impressive feature was a pair of very long, bladelike canine fangs that protruded past the lower jaw. It is likely that saber tooths took very large game, such as bison, tapirs, deer, camels, horses, ground sloths, and the young, injured, or infirm of mammoths and mastodons, using their immense strength to subdue their quarry before slicing open the throat or belly with those killing teeth. These teeth are thought to have been too weak to withstand being jabbed into struggling prey, so saber tooth victims would have been grappled and immobilized first.

In game terms, any bite that does less than double the DR of any rigid armor protecting the target, or that strikes bone (such as the face, skull, or vitals hit locations), or that is delivered to struggling prey, requires a HT roll to avoid the teeth breaking (Thr cr to the face using the saber tooth's ST, and permanent loss of the Fangs Advantage). Prey which is grappled and pinned is not considered struggling for the purpose of tooth breaking.

There were several species and genera of saber tooths.

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