On Artifact Classifications
In working with a few things purloined from the shelves, I have come up with four temporary classifications. Everything that I have yet encountered is in one of these four types. That is not to say that there are not others, however, these seem to fit with everything that I have heard and observed. The four are as follows, for now, in a strange moment of... something, called the Donovan Classifications.
DC 1: Technology: These are things that aren't, for lack of a better word, mystical. They are technology pure and simple. Sure, it's technology that shouldn't be out in the world, that is why we have it, but it's technology.
Examples: Farnsworths, Teslas, Helena Wells' Time Machine.
DC 2: Simple-activation: Things that anyone can activate by coming into contact with or using it. It can be as simple as brushing against something, opening a can, or using something. Some times, the effect can be enhanced by a certain type of person, but it does have an effect on everyone. This categorization is by far the most common.
Examples: Snow globe, Baylor Dodge Ball, Spine of the Saracen
DC 3: Special-activation: These are Artifacts that are much more complicated. They can be out in the world and be completely (not even mostly, completely) harmless until someone specific activates it. It could be something as simple as someone with a specific background coming into its influence, or it could be something as complex as a complicated string of things to make it work.
Examples: Braid's Chair, Telegraph, Rheticus'
DC 4: Area-of-effect: This is the most complicated and possibly cross-overable category. These are things that effect an area around them in some way or another. Some of the objects in this classification must be activated, but all have an effect on things around it.
Examples: Volta's labcoat, Sylvia Plath's typewriter, Joshua Donovan's desk ornament... thing.
DC B: Bifurcated: These are Artifacts that are in two or more pieces, all of which must be together for the full effect. These can be from any category, as this is a descriptive sub-category.
Examples: Farnsworth camera/projector (DC 1B), Poe's pen/notebook (DC 2B), Stevenson's book ends (DC 3B)