GURPS Bestiary

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GURPS Bestiary
Cover sm.jpg
GURPS Bestiary cover
Designer(s) Steffan O'Sullivan
Publisher(s) Steve Jackson Games
Publication date November 1, 2000
Genre(s) Modern, fantasy
System(s) GURPS

GURPS Bestiary is a source book for the GURPS role-playing game system containing information and statistics of animals. It also contains information animal player character templates, and tips for fitting animals into adventures. The first edition was published in 1988.


The GURPS Bestiary contains over 200 creatures to populate the various worlds of the GURPS universe. The book classifies creatures by terrain type, and deals with normal animals, legendary beasts, and otherworld creatures.[1] The book also contains GM commentaries on handling animal encounters, hunting and trapping, animals as companions, and how to create new animals.[1]

This supplement describes several hundred animals and monsters, mostly organized by habitat (e.g., arctic, desert, forest, jungle, swamp and subterranean) plus dinosaurs, domestic animals, otherworldly creatures, and "loathsome crawlers"; the book also includes rules and guidelines for game-mastering animals, animal companions, and hunting.[2]

GURPS Bestiary was a universal sourcebook for GURPS that could be used with many different worlds.[3]

Publication history[edit]

The 1st edition of the GURPS Bestiary was written by Steffan O'Sullivan, with a cover by Ken Kelly and illustrations by Dan Carroll, and was first published by Steve Jackson Games in 1988 as a 112-page book.[1][2]

The 2nd edition of GURPS Bestiary was updated by Chris McCubbin and Bob Schroeck,[citation needed] and had rules for were-creatures that wound up in GURPS Shapeshifters (2003).[citation needed] McCubbin and Schroeck wrote an article in a 1993 issue of Pyramid (a magazine published by Steve Jackson Games), offering extra material for the book.[4]

The current version of GURPS Bestiary is the 3rd edition, which was revised by Hunter Johnson and again featured Ken Kelly's cover art. Released in 2000, this expanded edition is 128 pages in length.[5] Johnson published extra material for the 3rd edition in a 2000 issue of Pyramid.[6] As of August 2014, the 3rd edition of GURPS Bestiary was out of print, and a 4th edition had not yet been released for the 4th edition GURPS RPG system.

All three editions featured the same cover image by Ken Kelly.


Jim Bambra reviewed GURPS Bestiary for Dragon magazine #140 (December 1988).[1] He comments on the book: "The art is fairly poor — about the same standard as that in the Monster Manual — so don't expect to be thrilled by the illustrations. The GURPS Bestiary has much to offer GURPS GMs, but it is of limited use to anyone looking for new critters to add to his favorite game system."[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Bambra, Jim (December 1988). "Role-playing Reviews". Dragon. Lake Geneva, Wisconsin: TSR (#140): 86. 
  2. ^ a b Schick, Lawrence (1991). Heroic Worlds: A History and Guide to Role-Playing Games. Prometheus Books. p. 388. ISBN 0-87975-653-5. 
  3. ^ Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. p. 107. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7. 
  4. ^ McCubbin, Chris; Schroeck, Bob (August 1, 1993). "GURPS Bestiary Extras". Pyramid (2). Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  5. ^ "Bestiary". Steve Jackson Games. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  6. ^ Johnson, Hunter (December 15, 2000). "Extras from GURPS Bestiary, Third Edition". Pyramid. Retrieved 21 August 2014.