After Sundown is a cooperative storytelling game that tells stories in the realm of horror. Players take on the roles of monsters out of horror movies or the humans who oppose them, while one of the players takes on the role of the MC – a combination referee, narrator, and roleplayer of last resort for antagonists and minor characters in the story.
The setting of After Sundown is a world like our own would be if horror fiction had an element of truth to it. There really are monsters in the night and other worlds full of nightmarish horrors that bleed into the mortal world. But it is also set in a world which is decidedly modern, and that means modern sensibilities. The game’s backstory sees history and mythology through a modern interpretation, and adopts horror tropes that resonate with modern audiences. Many horror tropes are timeless – blood speckled claws in the dark is pretty much always going to be scary – but many other horror elements are merely puzzling, and are going to be downplayed. The modern audience is not particularly worried about miscegenation or communist invasion, and those elements of old horror fiction are deliberately excluded from their appropriation into After Sundown.