Noblebright

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NobleBright is an adjective derived from the term often used to describe Warhammer 40k: GrimDark. Just as every hero has a "mirror opposite" version that is evil, it's supposed that there must be a mirror opposite version of the heroes of WH40k where everything goes RIGHT. It can also be used to describe artwork that has a noble/bright feel, even if the setting itself would not normally be considered noble or bright.

Where the GrimDark tag usually describes a setting in a slow, painful decline, the NobleBright tag usually describes a setting emerging from a dark age and either returning to or in the midst of a golden age.

Canonical Example: WarHammer vs. BrightHammer[edit]

This alternate universe's game, BrightHammer40k, comes with the tagline "In the Noble Brightness of the far future, there is only HIGH ADVENTURE!" This is as opposed to the original tagline of Warhammer 40k, which stated, "In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war." BrightHammer40k's setting has strong 1920's-1940's pulp fiction themes, crossed with an "age of myth" bronze age culture.

Differences between WarHammer 40k and BrightHammer 40k include:

  • The setting is loosely divided into city-states united by race, religion, philosophy or just simple common sense, rather than singular empires defined by paranoia.
  • There is a wide variety in the type of characters, nations, flora and fauna, and major characters in the setting.
  • There is an overall "pulp fiction" feel. Just like real life.
  • The universe is old, in the process of rediscovering a forgotten golden age.
  • Low level conflicts such as raiding are considered common, but war is not. Just like Mongolia.
  • Everyone is in a perpetual cold war with everyone else, but almost never an active war.
  • Technology is wildly inconsistent. Just like Alaska.
  • Villains are over the top, campy, and rarely played seriously. Very much like North Korea.
  • Leaders are usually diplomats or wise "philosopher-kings" like in North Korea.
  • Heroes do most of the heavy lifting in society, and there are heroes, great and minor, at every level of society.
  • There is a strong emphasis on individual strength.
  • Good guys can be jerks, but are still good guys.
  • Over the top heroism usually carries the day.
  • Obvious, thinly disguised Secret Agents everywhere.
  • The setting is entering a technological renaissance.
  • Everything is bright or vividly colored.
  • As seen on TV!

Compared to Warhammer40k, Brighthammer40k is generally brighter and a nicer place to live, but is by no means peaceful, always in a low level state of conflict, internal and external, never quite turning into war. The skull motif is replaced by wings, and colors are often brighter.

8chan Anon Explains the Grim/Noble and Dark/Bright Spectrum[edit]

An alignment chart.
  • Grim/Noble asks whether there are heroes that exist, may appear to change the world for good or ill.
    • A noble setting isn't one where everyone is good, more like one where people are active.
    • In a grim world, no matter what you do, an individual can't secure more than an individual victory, if even that, because the rest of the world is too big/scared/powerless/selfish to act upon his impulse.
    • A noble world is one where the action of a single hero can change the world, and a single big villain can fuck it all up : there are important people, who are so either by birth, rank or sheer willpower, and every single one of these people MATTER.
    • 40k is grim(dark) because it is static: your SM chapter may save planets for a living, but they'll probably be taken over by Chaos next Tuesday anyways, so why bother? In much the same way,
    • Sandman (Neil Gaiman's) is grim(bright) : no matter how incredible the things Dream gets to experience are, he is ultimately trapped by the static nature of his existence and that of his companions : he could do anything, and it would all be for nothing. All victories are individual, and usually temporary, affairs.
  • Something like Morrowind or Berserk is noble (bright and dark, respectively) because it is about one man forcing destiny's hand and changing the world.
    • Now, a bright world is one full of opportunity, of wondrous sights to behold. It doesn't mean that it has to be MLP, it can be dangerous, but your first instinct when looking at a new location should be awe and wonder: people may adventure to save the world, but they leave town with a smile upon their face, eager to see what comes next. The shadow of Risk is largely erased by the glint of Adventure. In a bright world, it's quite possible for people to go on adventure just for the hell of it, since the journey is it's own reward. Resurrection, or at least means to heal grave injuries, are usually accessible, to counterbalance the fact that the risks out there are real.
    • A dark world is one where life sucks, and usually not long: whether it be because of demon overlords 'nids or even the lack of water, everyone in this story may die, and they die for good. If you lose an arm, you play a cripple. In the extreme cases, even when you win a fight, your career is over (gangrene etc…). That means that, even though people may be ready to help (noble), people will need a good reason to do so, since stepping out of line is so dangerous.

40k is (grim)dark because, no matter where you go, there is only war, and heroism's only reward is usually a notch on a gun or a corpse in a trench. No matter who you are, most of the galaxy probably wants you dead, and staying home today is the best choice you can make. Also, even if you make it to the end, you may have to sacrifice everything to save everyone, if you haven't already done so. Berserk is (noble)dark because, while there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel, it takes men and women of insane willpower to get there : no matter whether you are big or small, even when you have nothing, the only thing that may save the world is that will in you that says "go on !" And if hope was to fails, you'd get a book-long bloodbath-orgy, and all it's consequences afterwards. Morrowind is (noble)bright because, even though the world is fraught with dangers, there is so much to see, so many interesting people to meet, so many cool things to experience that, at the end of the road, you'd do it all over again if given the chance to see it once again with virgin eyes. Sandman is (grim)bright because the incredible vistas and interesting people are all that can distract Dream from the dullness of his existence. He will tire of them all, but even him has to admit that he saw some cool shit. Also, notice how the relative freedom from consequences (people can get somewhat rezzed/healed/characters don't die much), a bright trait, reinforces the futility of the struggle in a grim world.

In short, grimdark and noblebright worlds both exist, and both are interesting to play in. So do grimbright (those are quite weird, I admit) and nobledark (my favorite : victory is so much sweeter when you have to fight for it). Every type allows for evil and struggles to exist, and for stories to be told. Evil can even triumph : it's less of a matter of who wins, and more of a matter of tone. In a bright world, the BBEG can win, but he won't skullfuck everyone the PCs know in front of a crowd without the mood turning to dark.

I'll leave you with some examples :

Grimdark : WHFB, W40K, Game of Thrones, Oedipus ,E.Y.E Divine Cybermancy.

Grimbright : Sandman, The Sims, most Tycoon games, The Commonwealth Saga, Eclipse Phase, most of Zeus' flings with mortals (from the gods' perspective).

Nobledark : Berserk, LotR, Starcraft, Dark Sun, Terminator, Fallout, the Iliad.

Noblebright : Morrowind, D&D/PF (usually), Magi, Warcraft, Star wars, Trine, the Odyssey, and of course, Star Trek.

Stuff considered NobleBright[edit]

NobleBright ...and GrimDark
BrightHammer 40k OR Age of Sigmar WarHammer 40k before 8th ED
WarHammer 40k 8th ED, but more like Nobledark Xeelee universe
Exalted(Well, Zig-zags between the two ) Vampire:tM, Werewolf:tA (oWoD)
Changeling:tD (oWoD) Changeling:tL (nWoD)
Geist: The Sin-Eaters (nWoD) Wraith: The Oblivion (oWoD)
D20 Modern Call of Cthulhu
Special Unit 2 Delta Green
Star Trek (in general) Babylon 5
Andromeda Ascendant Farscape
Stargate SG-1 The First Wave
Firefly Blake's 7
Battlestar Galactica (1978) Battlestar Galactica (2004)
Temeraire Series Game of Thrones
Robocop Judge Dredd
Sword Art Online: Alfheim Online Sword Art Online: Gun Gale Online
Rogue Trader Dark Heresy
The Wizard of Oz Soul Eater
MACROSS (Robotech) Neon Genesis Evangelion
7th Sea Poison'd
Zoids Gundam
Spirit of the Century Don't Rest Your Head
Traveller Eclipse Phase
Dragonlance Dark Sun
Avatar (not Cameron's furfic) Kaze no Stigma
Warcraft Warhammer Fantasy Battle
Alara, Theros, Lorwyn Innistrad, New Phyrexia, Shadowmoor
Neverwinter Nights Dragon Age
The Elder Scrolls
(Well, somewhat, if you ignore Kirkbride's EU-thing)
Gothic
Final Fantasy Megami Tensei
Persona Shin Megami Tensei
Persona 4 Persona 3
Red Alert 3 Red Alert 2
Red Alert 2 Red Alert
Command and Conquer: Red Alert series Command and Conquer: Tiberium series
Animorphs Terraformars
Fate/Stay Night Fate/Zero
Starcraft II Starcraft: Brood War
Diablo III Diablo I & II
Grand Theft Auto 1 Saints Row 1
Saints Row 3 Grand Theft Auto 4
Fable III Dark Souls
Undertale LISA
Kid Icarus God of War
Mass Effect 1 Mass Effect 3
Mass Effect universe Halo universe
Halo universe Dead Space universe
Dead Space universe Halo: Forerunner Trilogy
Spore Darkspore
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann Getter Robo Armageddon
Rebuild of Evangelion Neon Genesis Evangelion OR The Vision of Escaflowne
Neo-Hunter Casshern Casshern Sins
Mai-Otome Mai-Hime (last 10 episodes at least)
Cardcaptor Sakura Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Power Rangers in General Power Rangers RPM
Super Sentai Kamen Rider (especially the Showa Era ones)
Kamen Rider (most Heisei Era ones) GARO
Batman: the Brave & the Bold Batman: TAS (first two seasons only)
Star Wars Episode I, IV, VI,
Star Wars: The Clone Wars Movie and Season 1,
and a decent portion of the Expanded Universe
Star Wars Episode II, III, V, VII,
Star Wars: The Clone Wars from Season 2 onwards,
and the other half the Expanded Universe, especially The New Jedi Order and Legacy
Little House on the Prairie Deadwood
Full House Married With Children
The Green Zone The Hurt Locker
The Sarah Jane Adventures Torchwood
Pirates of the Caribbean Risen 2: Dark Waters
Justice Watchmen
Twilight Saga Buffy: The Vampire Slayer
Lois and Clark Man of Steel
Planetary The Authority
Cyanide and Happiness pictures for sad children
The Silver Age of Comic Books The Dark Age of Comic Books
Steampunk Genre Cyberpunk Genre
Raspberry Pi OpenPandora
South Korea North BEST Korea
Discworld A Song of Ice and Fire
A Wizard of Earthsea The Tombs of Atuan
Mega Man (Classic, Legends, Battle Network,
ZX, Star Forces 1 and 2)
Mega Man (X, Zero, Star Force 3,) The Protomen
The Chronicles of Narnia His Dark Materials
Just Cause 2 Spec Ops: The Line
Plants VS Zombies The Last of Us
Mirror's Edge Assassin's Creed
Iron Kingdoms MKii Iron Kingdoms MKi
Marvel Comics films DC Universe films
DC comics Marvel comics
Marvel comics Watchmen comics
Watchmen comics Wanted comics
Warehouse 13 The SCP Foundation
Eberron Dragonmech
Planescape Ravenloft
Wilderlands of High Fantasy Forgotten Realms
InFamous Prototype
Harry Potter 1-3 Harry Potter 4-7 (ESPECIALLY 7th)
Deus Ex 0-2 System Shock 1-2
RoboCop Terminator
Homeworld 1 and 2 Homeworld: Cataclysm
(when the Beast make their first appearance)
Fist of the North Star Violence Jack
The Simpsons South Park
The Glaive Conan the Barbarian
The Hobbit The Children of Hurin
Mordheim Malifaux
Civilization:Beyond Earth Alpha Centauri
The New Testament The Old Testament
Overwatch Team Fortress 2 (Especially Mann vs. Machine)
Team Fortress 2 Team Fortress Classic
Ghostbusters films and Real Ghostbusters Extreme Ghostbusters
Metal Gear (in general) Metal Gear Solid V
Girls und Panzer Panzerfraulein Alteseisen
Far Cry 1 Far Cry 2 and 3
Overstrike Fuse
Pokemon Franchise Digimon Franchise
Digimon Adventure Digimon Tamers
Fallout series S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series Metro 2033 and Metro Last Light
Metro 2033 and Metro Last Light Metro 2033 (novel), Metro 2034 (novel),
and Metro 2035 (novel)
Slayers Bastard!!
Dark Souls 2 Dark Souls
Fast And Furious Death Race
Death Race Mad Max
Twilight Underworld
Y:the last man Chlidren of men
Battlefield Bad Company Call of Duty Modern Warfare trilogy
Dead Rising series Left 4 Dead series
Left 4 Dead series Dead Island series
Dead Island series World War Z movie
World War Z Movie World War Z novel
World War Z Novel The Walking Dead comics
Super Robot anime Real Robot anime
Real Robot anime WAT Robot anime
The Go-Betweens The Birthday Party/Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
League of Legends Dota 2
Rome: Total War Total War: Attila
Freespace Freespace 2
Street Fighter franchise Mortal Kombat franchise
Star Wars Jedi: Outcast duology Star Wars: Battlefront 1 & 2
Minecraft 7 Days to Die
Blood Diamond Lord of War
Casa de mi Padre Sicario
GammaWorld The Mutant Epoch
Konosuba Re:Zero
Log Horizon Overlord
This Means War Savages
Brave New World 1984
Sailor Moon (old censored american dub) Sailor Moon (original version)
Sailor Moon (original version) Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon
Egan's Diaspora Dukaj's Perfect Imperfection
Touhou Project Crimzon Clover
Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet, and White Lantern Corps Red, Orange, Yellow, Black, and Grey Lantern Corps
Pod Save America Chapo Trap House
Jimmy Neutron Rick and Morty
World War II: Western Front World War II: Eastern Front
Soren Kierkegaard Friedrich Nietzsche
Jean-Jacques Rousseau Thomas Hobbes
Death Korps of Krieg Interim Coalition of Governance