GreenWolf's Ultimate Overflow Sandbox

UIU Casefile Format

Usage Notes

While the original UIU GOI Format is well designed for describing paracriminals and other persons of interest, its constraints are ill-suited for writing about larger investigations and operations. The goal of this Casefile Format is to provide an alternative UIU GOI Format which builds upon the original, while also giving authors the tools necessary to tell a compelling story about an unusual investigation.

Thus, the primary purpose of the Casefile Format is to tell a story about events.

When using the Casefiles Format, it's important to remember that the UIU is, first and foremost, a law enforcement agency, and this should be reflected in its investigations and operations. Although the UIU is involved in maintaining the Veil and consensus normalcy, unlike the Foundation, it does not contain things solely for being anomalous — for the UIU to act, there must be a crime or a suspicion of a crime. Moreover, given the UIU's jurisdiction over paranormal incidents and investigations in the United States, the inciting crime should be a paracrime.

What constitutes a paracrime is ultimately up to individual headcanon, but broadly speaking, the following things can generally be considered crimes under the UIU's jurisdiction:

  • Crimes committed within paranormal enclaves under the Hoover Mandate, such as Three Portlands and Backdoor SoHo
  • Crimes involving persons or groups of interest which operate behind the Veil
  • Crimes committed using paranormal or anomalous methods
  • Any other actions deemed to threaten the overall integrity of the Veil, such as unlicensed sales of paratech

There is an additional consequence of the UIU's status as a law enforcement agency which should be kept in mind when using the Casefile Format: despite its clandestine nature, the UIU is still required to operate in accordance with US federal law. There is an entire shadow legal system that operates in parallel to the ordinary American criminal justice system, occupying a similar clandestine niche as the national security and intelligence apparatus. Thus, while the UIU has broad authority when acting to preserve consensus normalcy, it is still ultimately answerable to the courts — albeit secret courts. As a result, the Casefile Format is structured around a central investigation which progresses through the gradual collection of evidence, eventually leading to an arrest.

The Casefile Format

The structure of the Casefile Format is designed to approximate a single file collecting all the documents and records from a single investigation, representing the actual case file maintained by the investigators. At its most basic, this is simply a file header, an initial case report, a timeline of the investigation, and a closing case report. However, this format can be easily expanded to suit the narrative needs of a story, and templates for additional sections have been provided below.

Theme

Although not a required part of the Casefile Format, a modified version of the Unusual Investigations CSS Theme is available for use with this format. To use it, simply include the following code at the top of your page:

[[module CSS]]
@import url(http://scp-wiki.wikidot.com/component:uitheme/code/1);
[[/module]]

[[module CSS]]
#header h2 span::before {
    content: 'Unusual Incidents Unit, [Location] Office ';
}

#side-bar .scpnet-interwiki-wrapper {
    width: 17em;
}
[[/module]]

Make sure to replace [Location] with the name of the relevant field office (Three Portlands, Backdoor SoHo, Miami, etc…).

Header

Case File # ####-###
File Opened MM/DD/YYYY
File Closed MM/DD/YYYY
Lead Agent Full Name
Summary A three to four sentence summary of the investigation and the contents of the casefile. Make sure to include the event that triggered the investigation, what crimes have been documented, and what actions were ultimately taken as a result. If other agencies or organizations were involved in the investigation, make sure to name them here.

The above header should be included at the top of every Casefile Format. While the general nature of the header should be obvious, here's a detailed description of each of the individual fields:

Case File #: This is the identifier number for the entire casefile, and should be the same as the number used in the page title. The first four digits are the year the file was opened, while the last three indicate when it was opened in that year. The three digit order number is assigned sequentially, so files opened earlier in the year will have lower numbers than files opened later in the year. While individual authors may have differing headcanons on this matter, when determining the sequential order number, a decent rule of thumb is to assume that the UIU only opens 20 to 30 new case files each month, and then use that to estimate the sequence number.

File Opened: The date the file was opened, given in month/day/year format, and coinciding with the date of the initial case report. Note that this isn't necessarily the same date as when the investigation started — an investigation may start as part of another case, only to be spun-off and given its own file once it expands.

File Closed: The date the file was closed, given in month/day/year format, and coinciding with the date of the closing case report. If the file is still open, then this section should be marked as Investigation Ongoing.

Lead Agent: The name of the lead investigating agent assigned to the case. If the lead agent has changed during the investigation, then they should each be listed in sequential order, with bracketed dates after their names to indicate when they were in charge.

Summary: This section should concisely summarize the investigation and the contents of the case file, such that someone reading it could quickly grasp what the case file is about. However, as an author telling a story, you should be careful of spoiling your entire narrative — try to strike a balance that leaves a reader with a general impression of the story, while still wanting to know the details.

Initial Case Report

Case File # ####-### Date Filed MM/DD/YYYY
Report Author Full Name Field Office Location
Irregularity
Cross‑reference
A list of tags describing involved groups, locations, and paranormal phenomena of interest

1. Background

A few paragraphs describing the background events that led-up to the start of the investigation. If the current investigation started as an offshoot of another case, describe the original investigation in enough detail to understand its relation to the current case. If there are any locations or groups of interest involved, consider giving a brief summary of their history as the UIU knows it. This section should essentially be used to setup all the details necessary to give in- and out-of-universe readers context for the rest of the story.

2. Current Status

A paragraph or two describing the current status of the investigation at the time the report is filed. What does the UIU know, what assets have been assigned to the investigation, and what do they expect to find?

3. Leads

Describe any leads the investigators have, and what their future plans are for conducting the investigation. Is there evidence that needs to be analyzed? Witnesses that need to be talked to? Are there any places that the UIU would like to search for further evidence, and if so, do they have probable cause to get a warrant?

The initial case report should always be in the first tab beneath the header. Its narrative function is to act as an introduction for the rest of the case file, providing any necessary context and setting up plot threads for the rest of the story. Here's an explanation of the individual fields:

Case File #: Same deal as before. This should be the same number used in the header and the title.

Date Filed: This should be the same date as the one given for the File Opened field in the header.

Report Author: The name of the agent or agents who authored the report. This can be (and usually is) the same as the Lead Agent, but it can also be another UIU agent assigned to the investigation. Keep in mind that, in-universe, this is the person responsible for writing the report, and vary your tone accordingly. If you have different authors for different reports in the same casefile, try to give them each their own distinctive voice and style.

Field Office: This is the UIU field office where the report was filed and where the investigation is based. Like the normal FBI, the UIU doesn't have a field office in every city, instead placing them in a handful of major regional cities throughout the US. Most UIU field offices will be located in the same city as an FBI field office, but the UIU also has independent offices in Three Portlands and a handful of other major paranormal enclaves.

Irregularity Cross-reference: This is a list of comma-separated tags used by the UIU's internal indexing system for paranormal phenomena. For a case report, you should include tags for any locations of interest, groups of interest, UIU cases and programs, specific paracrimes, and paranormal phenomena known or suspected to be connected to the investigation. There's no canonical list of Irregularity tags, but you can look at other UIU format articles to get an idea of what there is.

Report Body: This is the main body of the case report, where the investigators layout all the information they currently have regarding the case, and what they plan to do with it. This can be done using the standard Background/Current Status/Leads sub-sections, or you can choose to go more free-form with the report itself — whatever works to convey the necessary information. Keep in mind that this is first tab of the case file that readers are going to read, so you should use this section to build up the hook established in the header.

Investigative Timeline

Case File # ####-### Case Name Operation Codename Field Office Location
Contributors Full Name; Full Name; Full Name

Date Event
MM/DD/YYYY A detailed but concise description of events related to the investigation that occurred on this date.
MM/DD/YYYY A description of another set of events.
MM/DD/YYYY This section can go on for as long as necessary, just add more rows to the table if you need them.
MM/DD/YYYY If you need more than one paragraph in a row, make sure to put an underscore, _, at the end of the line so that it doesn't break the cell.

The investigative timeline will be the second tab beneath the header, after the initial case report and before any other sections. If the header is the hook and the initial case report is the lede, then the investigative timeline is like a table of contents, outlining the structure of the investigation and giving readers an idea of what to expect. If you're not using any other sections, then this will be where you provide most of the details about the process of the investigation — otherwise, try to leave room for the other sections to elaborate on specific details.

Some elaboration on the functions of specific parts:

Case File #: Again, this is the same as the other Case File # fields.

Case Name: The internal name of the investigation.

Closing Case Report

Case File # ####-### Date Filed MM/DD/YYYY
Report Author Full Name Field Office Location
Irregularity
Cross‑reference
A list of tags describing involved groups, locations, and paranormal phenomena of interest

1. Findings

2. Bureau Actions

3. Final Analysis

Additional Sections

Interim Case Report

Case File # ####-### Date Filed MM/DD/YYYY
Report Author Full Name Field Office Location
Irregularity
Cross‑reference
A list of tags describing involved groups, locations, and paranormal phenomena of interest

1. Developments

2. Current Status

3. Future Outlook

Known Suspects

Suspect ID "Generic Codename" PoI File # ####/#### Name Full Name
Known Aliases Pseudonyms and Aliases
Irregularity
Cross‑reference
A list of tags describing known paranormal properties/abilities and affiliated groups and locations of interest
Description A short description of the suspect, including their physical appearance and attributes, frequent behaviors and habits, and any known biographical info.
Capabilities What paranormal abilities the suspect possesses, if any, and how skilled they are in using them.
Documented
Actions
A short list of all criminal activities performed by the suspect that the investigators have documented.

Operational Record

Collected Documents

Case File # ####-### Document File # ####-###/XXX Date Acquired MM/DD/YYYY
Source One to two short sentences describing the source of the document and how it was acquired.
Contents A brief description summarizing the contents of the document.

[Document goes here.]

Interrogation Logs

Detainee Name Full Name PoI File # ####/#### Detainee Counsel Full Name
Interviewing Agents Full Name; Full Name Also Present Full Name
Interview Date MM/DD/YYYY Session # ##

Name: Line of dialogue

Name: Another line of dialogue

Non-verbal action or event.

Name: More dialogue

Interview ends. Summarize actions taken or planned as a result.

General Template