I think we would benefit from having a list of things we should try to avoid, specifically things that there are already a lot of examples of (or, more rarely, things that are unique that we went to make sure keep that uniqueness). For example: how many SCPs are there of the "you can't look at that or you'll die" variety? The number of blind Class D & security personnel is staggering. There are only so many blind marksmen in the world.
Basically, anything that seriously maims/kills you. I mean, I know the very foundation of SCP was built on a living doll that would kill you if you didn't look at it, but every other SCP is one of those, "IT WILL KILL YOU IT WILL KILL YOU IT WILL KILL YOU" types. What is this, the Holders series?
In any case, I thoroughly enjoy the SCPs that don't do anything dangerous, and instead just do something weird, like that vending machine that dispenses weird food.
Killing is the whole point.
The problem is too much QUANTITY of killing as opposed to QUALITY of killing. I don't want a magic gun that shoots loads of people. I want something that everyone thought was Safe class, just really weird, suddenly killing someone horribly.
PLEASE. "Look at it and die" or "…go crazy" are big ones. "Mysteriously indestructible" is another I've seen (I tried to rebel against that with SCP-189, which breaks fairly easily but is also easy to repair, but just can't be reproduced).
You make a valid point.
The difficulty lays in the fact that this is, essentially, an open forum. Though we may disagree with the cookie-cutter nature of many SCP's, we cannot deny an author his/her creative license simply on the basis that "it's been done before". While we can suggest that authors shy away from this trend, we cannot force them to limit their writing to a contained field.
But I mean, seriously. How fun would these SCP's be if they couldn't kill and/or maim you?
We are a community, yes. So why not apply some populism? If the vast majority of us agree that an SCP is a piece of crap, I think our communal voice overpowers the rights of the individual author. I think an SCP's acceptance should based on a plurality.
Oh, but there are so many ways to die.
For example, you ever get that one where parts of your flesh start to take on an independent existence, fighting against your immune system and any pharmacological barrage you may choose to throw at it, grow and changing, and reshaping itself into a strange misshapen gnome that claws itself out of you.
Imagining this happening to you many times.
…Yeah, that's not a cool SCP.
Actually, I've been having more fun with innocuous objects that are weird but nonlethal, but that's not exactly the point. It's more a matter that at least a large number of SCPs are distinctly Cthulhuesque (Ha! try to pronounce that!) in the sense that the slightest interaction has instantly horrible ramifications that prevent the object from ever being described properly etc. It's not "no killing or maiming", it's more like "no instant killing or maiming".
Of course we're not trying to censor the forum, and, indeed, I don't think it would be so terrible if we eventually had three or four entirely unrelated SCPs that all functioned essentially identically. These would be just… guidelines for originality. To go with those suggestions to be included on the "How to Write an SCP" page.
Sorry for the off-topic, but: Kuh-tool-oo-esk. And, in the same vein as the "You can't look at it", I've noticed a fair few of the "You can't look away" variety, like SCPs 173 and 689, the living statue, and that teleporting beasty of doom. I've got to ask just how many of the world's optometrists are employed by SCP sites.
Quite honestly, it's entirely possible to have an impossible object that's not insanely overpowered. 517, the demon of war, seems like a good example; it's unkillable, certainly, but it's not invulnerable and can be stopped. Likewise, 076, Able, is extremely strong, very fast, and uncommonly intelligent, but he can also be stopped by mere humans.
I agree, and while I wrote a "go crazy looking at it" SCP myself, although I did add a bit of a twist to it.
Still, the worst cliches are most definitely "Indestructable", "Look at it and die", and "Self-replication ad infinitum", the latter of which is only annoying because it's been done before, and better, by existing SCPs