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Hippopotamus

This f leshy behemoth wallows forward on four stumpy legs. Its jaws spread wide in a roar of challenge, exposing massive, tusk-like teeth.

Hippopotamus CR 5

Source Heart of the Jungle pg. 60, Bestiary 2 pg. 157
XP 1,600
N Large animal
Init +4; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +8

Defense

AC 17, touch 9, flat-footed 17 (+8 natural, -1 size)
hp 66 (7d8+35)
Fort +10 (+12 vs. nonmagical disease), Ref +5, Will +2

Offense

Speed 40 ft.
Melee bite +13 (2d8+12)
Space 10 ft., Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks capsize

Statistics

Str 26, Dex 10, Con 20, Int 2, Wis 10, Cha 5
Base Atk +5; CMB +14; CMD 24
Feats Alertness, Improved Initiative, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Intimidate +1, Perception +8, Sense Motive +0, Stealth +0 (+10 underwater), Swim +13; Racial Modifiers +10 Stealth when underwater
SQ blood sweat, hold breath

Ecology

Environment warm rivers
Organization solitary or bloat (2-30)
Treasure none

Special Abilities

Blood Sweat (Ex) A hippopotamus excretes a reddish-tinged oil that protects its skin from both the sun and bacteria. It suffers no harm from being in hot environments (up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit) and gains a +2 on Fortitude saves to resist nonmagical diseases.

Capsize (Ex) A hippopotamus can attempt to capsize a boat or ship of its size or smaller by ramming it as a charge attack and making a combat maneuver check. The DC of this check is 25, or the result of the boat captain’s Profession (sailor) check, whichever is higher.

Hold Breath (Ex) A hippopotamus can hold its breath for a number of rounds equal to 4 times its Constitution score before it risks drowning.

Description

These massive, four-legged herbivores can grow up to 17 feet long and generally weigh between 3,000 and 4,000 pounds, though males continue to grow throughout their entire lives and have been known to reach weights of up to 10,000 pounds. Despite their girth, hippopotamuses can run quite fast—up to 30 miles per hour in quick bursts—though they usually spend the bulk of their time lazing about in rivers and wallows, using the water to support their weight and regulate heat for their titanic bodies. Excellent swimmers, hippopotamuses can hold their breath for about 15 minutes and are quite stealthy when submerged. This trait makes them exceedingly dangerous to boats, for a submerged hippopotamus is likely to view any such craft as a challenge to its territory and is entirely capable of capsizing a boat and biting the boatmen in half. Hippopotamuses typically herd together in bloats, blocking waterways and creating natural blockades for river travelers. While lions and tigers often garner more public attention from foreigners, residents of areas frequented by hippopotamuses know that the “water horses,” as they’re sometimes known, are far more likely to kill and maim humans that cross their path. Fortunately, forewarned travelers can generally avoid bloats, as hippopotamuses mark the banks of their territories with dung, spinning their tails while defecating to create aromatic “dung showers.”

Though hippopotamuses spend most of their lives in water, adults cannot swim and are not buoyant, instead propelling themselves by pushing off the bottom in great leaps. When submerged, they surface every 3 to 5 minutes to breathe and can even do so automatically while sleeping without waking. They have the unique ability to hold their heads partially above the water and send out a cry that travels through both water and air, alerting all nearby hippopotamuses whether submerged or on land.