As a kid I remember watching Kolchak the Night Stalker, the movies and the TV show. I don’t recall all the details, but have been watching the TV show online. I managed to find the movies from before the TV show on YouTube and watched them. If you are interested in watching these, then spoiler alert!!
The other day, I watched an episode that dealt with a rakshasa and the method of slaying them was a blessed crossbow bolt, as it is in the AD&D Monster Manual.
I found that interesting. I am not familiar with most of Indian mythology. There are times I wish I had footnotes for the source, or the inspiration used for these creatures. Until the Monster Manual, were any of these monsters from myth and legend in any single book?
I find that the Night Stalker series gets a bit repetitive, but having him be the only one or nearly the only one who gets what is going on, makes it interesting. With all the creatures he killed, what level would he be?
Going from memory, and I have not finished the series, he has killed two vampires, one werewolf, one zombie, and one rakshasa. There are other creatures, but some I don’t recall, or they do not have a creature stated. I’m not going to stat out creatures for this exercise. Assuming average hit points, I came up with 5,265 experience points which is halfway through 3rd level fighter. Since AD&D does not reward as much XP for monsters, this is reasonable. Karl never gets any treasure, and is the reluctant hero because he knows the truth and if no one is going to do anything about these creatures, then he must do it. Karl’s only reward is that he has save the city or the world.
In some shows, he does not kill the creature, but drives them off, or for the android episode, tries to help. In the electricity monster he gets people to listen, but the usual cover up, similar to the first movie with the vampire, is of no benefit to him.
So after two TV movies and one season of a TV show, I would estimate he earned the experience to be a 5th level fighter, perhaps 6th. If a thief, it would be higher. He did not use magic or pray to the gods, but did use items blessed by others, or had others bless an item. Karl does not gain in proficiency in fighting, but rather uses his mind. He is more like a sage out to do good based on his experience, knowledge, and research.
I can see how these shows can give ideas for a “modern fantasy” setting, or some variation on a science fiction or horror genre.
This show also takes me back to sitting around the TV as a family and talking about the show during the commercials. Unlike today, where it seems that everyone has their own media device and the household is in their individual media world.