In this article:
- The locked box test is used to determine SCP classes, on the basis of how easy they are to contain.
- It classifies anomalies into a range of primary object classes, but there are also some non-standard classes you need to know about.
- The new Anomaly Classificiation System further classifies anomalies on the basis of how risky they are and how easy they are to neutralize.
To whoever is reading this, congratulations on becoming part of the SCP Foundation. It takes someone with serious credentials to even be considered for the role. The fact that you’re here means you’re one of the best of the best.
If you happen to be lacking in common sense, like the researcher you replaced, that congratulations is going to turn into a condolence for your family soon.
The creatures kept in containment by the SCP Foundation are some of the greatest threats to mankind’s continued existence. The rest are the ones we can’t contain, the ones we haven’t found.
As a researcher, your job is to classify the anomalies that field agents find. To do that, you need to know the ins and outs of the SCP classes, how they’re classified, and why we choose to categorize them into a particular object class.
The Locked Box Test: How SCP Classes Are Determined
We get a lot of researchers who snigger at the Locked Box method of classifying an SCP. Those ones end up dead in a week because they don’t understand that SCP classifications aren’t based on how dangerous an anomaly is.
When we classify anomalies, we categorize them by how easy they are to contain. Imagine you have a metal box. Don’t worry about the size, just imagine that you have one and it can be locked. Now, conjure up a hypothetical SCP in your head that we can put there.
If it fits in the box and we lock it, can we leave it alone without anything bad happening? If the answer is yes, an object is Safe. If we aren’t sure what it will do if we left it unattended, it’s Euclid. If we leave it unmonitored and it easily escapes, it’s Keter.
Thaumiel is trickier but the gist is that if it is the box, meaning you can use it to contain another SCP, then you can classify an anomaly under it. But if you can’t fit it into a Thaumiel anomaly and it’s about to cause the next apocalypse, it’s Apollyon.
If you choose not to lock it in the box at all, it’s classified as Archon regardless of whether it’s harmless or not.
What Are the Primary Object Classes for SCP?
Safe means easily contained in the SCP classes system. It does not mean that the object itself is safe. Most of the time, an SCP is classified as Safe because we know enough about it that containing it doesn’t take a lot of work on or resources for us.
These anomalies tend to be non-sentient as well or, at least, non-hostile towards humans which lowers the risk that they’ll try to escape.
If you see a large orange slime creature walking around the office building, it’s Safe so don’t be alarmed. That’s SCP-999. It looks weird and it takes time to get used to, but it’s basically the Foundation’s dog.
Euclid classed SCPs are harder to contain either because it takes more work to do so or containment procedures aren’t refined enough to rule out the possibility that the anomaly will perform an unpredicted behavior. Most SCPs fall under this SCP class especially if they show signs of sentience or sapience.
SCP-173 is tagged as object class Euclid since it has a bad habit of teleporting away and breaking people’s necks when they aren’t looking directly at it. Should you get assigned to Site-19 1993, bring eye drops and remember to tell a coworker when you’re going to blink.
Keter class anomalies can’t be contained reliably and/or have containment procedures that are too complex to perform easily. That’s the best-case scenario. Keters are creepier to work on when they’re classified that way because of the extreme scarcity of info we have on them.
One SCP classed as Keter is ●●|●●●●●|●●|●. Due to the nature of the anomaly, nothing else can be written about it.
Unless you become an O5 council member, you’ll likely never see a Thaumiel class SCP in your entire career. At least you won’t know it’s a Thaumiel if you do. They are some of the Foundation’s best-kept secrets because the big bosses use them to keep other SCPs in check.
Anomalies in this SCP class are often locations, vehicles, alternate dimensions, or something of that nature. If it’s big enough to hold something and can neutralize anomalous effects of other SCPs, it goes in this pile.
Sometimes, Thaumiel class SCPs are sentient entities that want to help. SCP-411 has been a great help to us so far though we’re not exactly sure when he will start to help.
Apollyon SCPs are world-ending threats that can’t be contained or, if they can be, not for long. An Apollyon classed SCP’s K-Class Scenario, for example, can be delayed, but never fully resolved. For this reason, many SCP-001 proposals are categorized as Apollyon.
Archon is the last but arguably the strangest of the SCP classes. These anomalies can theoretically be contained but have been left to roam free by the SCP Foundation regardless of how powerful they are. Typically, an Archon class anomaly is allowed to remain uncontained due to the potential adverse effects of its containment.
Have you been to Crater Lake? The nine-meter tall stump that’s floating in it is an Archon classed SCP called SCP-3310.
Neutralized is listed among the primary SCP classes as a way of tagging anomalies as inactive. Neutralized SCPs are SCPs that stopped being anomalous either because they’ve been “purified”, disabled, or destroyed.
There are instances when these classifications are not enough and more descriptive SCP classes are required to make the nature of an SCP clear. The ability to distinguish the Non-standard SCP classes is what separates good researchers from great researchers and if you’re lucky, you’ll be the latter.
What Are the Non Standard SCP Classes?
Explained SCPs are SCPs that have been fully explained, rendering them non-anomalous. This differs from Neutralized SCPs with regards to how an object or creature becomes non-anomalous. Neutralized SCPs lose their anomalous qualities.
Explained SCPs are no longer anomalous because their nature is fully accounted for as a natural phenomenon making them no longer a deviation from the normal laws of science in this reality. Hence, they’re non-anomalous.
Esoteric/Narrative classes pertain to one-time use SCP classes that aren’t part of the standard classifications. They exist as narrative tools that help convey the story of an SCP. If that doesn’t make sense to you right now, you’ll learn more about the other SCP Foundation(s) in the Alternate Realities and Fourth Wall Breaks chapter of this manual.
Decommissioned SCPs are anomalies that have been essentially struck from the records. These aren’t redacted or highly classified SCPs, but ones that senior staff members (read: SCP Foundation editors) have removed from all of the Foundation’s narratives.
Decommissioning SCPs is no longer part of standard procedure, even for extreme cases, as they’ve proven to be demoralizing to new researchers and infuriating to older researchers whose work has been decommissioned. As such, you won’t be seeing any Decommissioned class SCPs.
What Is the Anomaly Classification System?
The SCP Foundation is always coming up with new ways to keep personnel and civilians safe. Our front line of defense against the end of the universe as we know it is how nuanced our classifications of anomalies are since SCP classes inform the way we interact with anomalies.
Given such circumstances, the O5 council has found it necessary to bring together different branches of the Foundation to work on additional SCP classes that tell us how much harm an SCP can cause in terms of intensity and range. This resulted in Disruption classes and Risk classes becoming part of the SCP categorization system.
In addition to additional object classes, we have recently implemented a more streamlined version of the old Clearance Level system.
Documents that are Level 1: Unrestricted can be accessed by any employee. If you’d like to read a Level 2: Restricted document, you will need to file a request with your supervisor. Level 3: Confidential files require clearance from site administrative staff. Level 4: Secret documents are only for the perusal of site and foundation administrative staff. Level 5: Top Secret is restricted to the Ethics Committee and the O5 Council while Level 6: Cosmic Top Secret is for the eyes of O5s only.
Don’t laugh. That’s what NATO calls their document secrecy classifications.
Disruption classes are a way of rating SCPs based on their area of effect and how difficult it would be to neutralize these effects.
The lowest of the SCP classes in terms of disruption is Dark which means that the disruption caused is practically negligible due to affecting only one person. Slow-spreading memetic hazards can be classified here.
Meanwhile, Vlam classified SCPs would affect a small group of people but have a limited range, making it easy to perform clean-up procedures. SCP-668, the 13″ Chef’s Knife, was discovered in the 1960s when its limited psychic properties produced what is commonly called a “Bystander Effect” that allowed the anomaly’s wielder to attack a young woman without interference.
SCPs are classed as Keneq if their escape from containment can disrupt an entire city’s worth of people. This is not a specific number and serves as a rule of thumb for the area of effect. Ekhi SCPs on the other hand can disrupt a major metropolitan area and spread their effects to the rest of the world.
Amida class SCPs are SCPs whose effects are spread out to the point that standard neutralization and re-containment would not be possible. Such SCPs can force the Foundation out of hiding since it would be difficult to conceal our activities.
Risk Class Options
While Disruption class SCP classifications are based on how many people the anomaly’s effects can spread to, Risk class categories are concerned with the degree of danger that an SCP poses.
The aforementioned SCP-999 may fall under Notice, though official classification is still pending, since it poses no danger at all to people who come into contact with it. Note, however, that Notice classed SCPs merely have mild effects, not no effect.
SCPs under Risk class Caution have mild to moderate effects and pose only a mild danger to persons nearby.
Moderate to significant effects can be experienced by personnel in close contact with a Warning risk class SCP. Warning class anomalies are moderately dangerous, such as the vending machine a.k.a SCP-294 which can produce major adverse effects upon request.
SCPs that have been given the Danger risk classification have significant to extreme anomalous effects and pose a significant danger to personnel. Despite his seemingly friendly appearance, SCP-343 would count as a Danger class SCP especially if you notice the inconsistencies between his object class and actual abilities.
Critical class SCPs have extreme to near-instant effects that can cause immediate death to beings that are exposed to the SCP. SCP-3001, a pocket dimension that deteriorates the ability of objects and living creatures to remain existing in reality could later be classified under this addition to the SCP classes.
As of 2022, the SCP Foundation has been working on re-classifying anomalies on its database to account for the new Anomaly Classification System and its additional SCP classes.