Terms of Service
Effective date: 11/30/2021
(Prior versions: 3/1/2016, 7/22/2015, 3/6/2015, 2/8/2015, 7/14/2014, 7/25/2013)
The Storium website is a service of Protagonist Labs, Inc. ("Protagonist"). By using Storium after the effective date of these Terms of Service, you agree to the following terms and to their retroactive application as to all prior use of Storium.
- Storium is not directed at people under 13. You must be 13 years or older to use Storium. If you are over 13 and under 18, you must have the permission of a parent or guardian. If you know a user is under 13, please contact us at email@example.com.
- You may not abuse, harass, threaten, invade the privacy of, or intimidate anyone in any way using any part or function of the site.
- You may not use Storium for any illegal or unauthorized purpose.
- You are responsible for keeping your password and personal information secure.
- You are responsible for your conduct and any content you post on Storium, including data, text, images, and links.
- You may not modify, adapt or hack Storium; or transmit any worms, viruses, or destructive code via Storium; or modify another website to falsely imply that it is associated with Storium.
- You may not maintain multiple Storium accounts for the purpose or intention of circumventing the usage limits that Storium places on free (unpaid) accounts.
- You may not violate any laws in your jurisdiction (including copyright laws).
- You use of Storium is subject to any other applicable agreements, including the code of conduct and the game license for any game in which you participate.
- Protagonist is not responsible for the content posted on Storium, and you use Storium at your own risk. You understand that you might be exposed to offensive, unlawful, or harmful content using Storium. Protagonist may, but has no obligation to, remove content that we determine in our sole discretion is unlawful, offensive, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene, invades the privacy of others, or is otherwise objectionable or violates any party's intellectual property or these Terms of Service.
- Protagonist may refuse service to anyone for any reason at any time.
- Protagonist may modify or terminate Storium for any reason, at any time, without notice.
- Protagonist may modify these Terms of Service for any reason, at any time, without notice. If we do, we will post the modification on the site, provide you with conspicuous notice of the modification, and update the “Effective Date” at the top of this page. You may then decide to continue to use Storium subject to those modifications.
- You own all of the original content that you post on Storium. Your rights in the content are subject to the game license of the game in which it appears. Protagonist makes no claim of ownership to any content you post on Storium. You grant Protagonist a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use, copy, store, publicly perform or display, distribute, modify, and translate any content you post on Storium. Protagonist may only use such content on Storium or for the purpose of operating or marketing Storium. The license to display your content on the Storium site terminates when it is deleted in accordance with Storium’s current deletion policies. (See the “Copyright” and “Deletions” pages for more information.)
- Protagonist may charge fees for your use of Storium and may modify those fees at any time. We will notify you in advance of any changes.
- You agree to indemnify and hold Protagonist, its officers, subsidiaries, affiliates, successors, assigns, directors, agents, service providers, attorneys, suppliers and employees, harmless from any claim or demand, including reasonable attorney fees and court costs, made by any third party due to or arising out of Content you submit, post or make available through Storium, your use of Storium, your violation of the Terms of Service or any applicable law, or your violation of any rights of another person.
- At our sole discretion, violation of any of these terms may result in the termination of your Storium account or some other penalty such as suspension or restricted use.
If you have any questions about these Terms of Service, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parts of this policy are adapted from a policy originally provided by Automattic. It is shared under a Creative Commons Sharealike license.
Information you elect to share with us
When you create a Storium account, we require an email address, your full name and a user name. You may also elect to provide a personal photo to serve as your avatar within the site, as well as a self-description of your own creation. Finally, you can choose to add your Twitter user name to your account so that others can see it. All of this information will be visible to anyone, but your email address will always remain private. You may modify any of your information except your user name at any time via your settings page.
Information we collect automatically
- We gather data about user actions on our Site for analytics and debugging purposes, in order to make Storium better for everyone.
- Our server automatically records information that your browser sends whenever you visit a web site (“Log Data”), such as your computer’s IP address, your browser type, the web page you were visiting before you came to our Site, and other statistics.
- We use 3rd party services like Google Analytics and Mixpanel to help understand your use of our Site.
How your information is shared
Other than to its employees and contractors who may view your account information as part of their day to day efforts, Storium will disclose potentially-personally-identifying and personally-identifying information only when required to do so by law.
How your information is stored
All non-personally-identifying information, potentially personally-identifying and personally identifying-information described above is stored on restricted database servers.
How we communicate with you
We use e-mail notifications to keep you in the loop regarding how members are interacting with you and your content on Storium. From time to time, we may send you helpful marketing and non-marketing company notifications.
HTML5 Local Storage
HTML5 local storage is a string of information that a website stores on a visitor's computer, and that the visitor's browser provides to the website each time the visitor returns. Storium uses local storage to remember certain user inputs that have not yet been saved to our database, such as draft content.
Links to 3rd party sites
Users can invite friends to become Storium users by sending invitation emails via our Site. We do not share with third-parties the email addresses provided for these purposes.
Storium may not view private messages you send or receive except under the following circumstances: (1) when directed by court order, subpoena, or other appropriate form of legal or governmental process; or (2) when a report of abuse is made by a user. In such a circumstance, we may view your private messages as necessary to comply with such process or to investigate such report.
If Storium or substantially all of its assets were acquired, or in the event that Storium goes out of business or enters bankruptcy, user information would be one of the assets that is transferred or acquired by a third party. You acknowledge that such transfers may occur, and that any acquirer of Storium may continue to use your personal information as set forth in this policy. That said, we will communicate this transfer to you in a timely manner prior to the event so that you may determine whether or not you'd like to continue using Storium.
Our policy toward children
The Site is not directed to Users under the age of 13. We do not knowingly collect information from children under the age of 13.
Children aged 13 or older should not submit any information without the permission of their parents or guardians. By using the Site, you are representing that you are at least 18, or that you are at least 13 years old and have your parents' permission to use the Site.
If a parent or guardian becomes aware that his or her child has provided us with information without their consent, he or she should contact us at email@example.com.
Should you have any questions about this document, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last updated: 3/6/2015
Subject to the applicable game license, you own all of the original content that you post on the Storium website (“Storium”). We make no claim of ownership over any content you post on Storium.
Our license to display your content on the Storium site terminates when it is deleted in accordance with Storium’s current deletion policies.
Protagonist is compliant with notice and takedown of infringing material under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA). Upon receipt of a complete and vetted notice, Protagonist will take down content in a timely manner and notify the Storium member who posted the allegedly infringing material.
A complete notice must include all of the following elements:
- An electronic or physical signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner;
- Identification of the copyrighted work that you claim is being infringed;
- Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing and where it is located on the site;
- Information reasonably sufficient to permit Protagonist to contact you, such as your address, telephone number, and e-mail address;
- A statement that you have a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or law; and
- A statement, made under penalty of perjury, that the above information is accurate, and that you are the copyright owner or are authorized to act on behalf of the owner.
Protagonists’s Designated Copyright Agent to receive notifications of claimed infringement can be reached at email@example.com.
For clarity, only DMCA notices should go to the Protagonist Designated Copyright Agent. Any other feedback, comments, requests for technical support or other communications should be directed to Storium customer service through firstname.lastname@example.org.
Protagonist respects intellectual property rights. This includes your rights, the rights of all Storium users, and the rights of other creators.
We recognize that you might create games or post content that contains content from or is derivative of other works. There are many ways to use such content. Some is legal and respectful of the original work, and some is not. Some might be considered “fair use” under the law. Some creators and IP owners are supportive of fan usage, while others are not. We do not — indeed, cannot —actively monitor all of the content that is posted to Storium.
We are legally required to comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA) and do so. Therefore, we encourage all users to be respectful of third-party works and use them appropriately. If you are uncertain as to whether your game contains material that might be considered infringing, we recommend that you mark it as “private” so that only you and your fellow players can read it.
The Storium name and logo are trademarks of Protagonist. Other copyrighted material on Storium is indicated where it appears.
Last updated: 3/1/2016
These are our current policies around content deletion. We will continue to expand and refine both the site and these policies, with the goal of creating a place where rich, collaborative stories can emerge while still respecting each individual’s rights and needs.
Once a Storium game includes content created by users other than the host, it can only be deleted in accordance with the license selected for that game:
- Games using the “Community” or “Creative Commons” licenses may only be deleted at the host’s request and with the agreement of all current participants.
- Games using the “Host” license may be deleted at the host’s request. Agreement of all current participants is not required.
Before requesting deletion of game:
- Consider “suspending” it instead. This places it permanently on hold (until you change your mind), makes it read-only (except for comments), and halts most email notifications.
- If you don’t want others to see your game any more, you can change its Visibility setting to “Private,” which ensures that only the participants can see it.
- If you don’t want to see your own game any more, you can click the “customize this list” link on your homepage. This will allow you remove it from the list of games shown on your homepage.
If you are the host and still want to delete your game, follow these steps:
- If your game uses the “Community” or “Creative Commons” licenses, confirm you have the agreement of all the current participants. They may signal their agreement by adding a comment in the game’s Green Room or Commentary section, or via private messaging, or via email sent to email@example.com.
- Complete and submit this form. The Storium team will confirm that all current participants have agreed (if required by the game’s license) and then delete the game, its characters, and all associated content, following-up with you when it’s done.
As a player, you may be able to have your character deleted from a game, in accordance with the license selected for that character’s game:
- Games using the “Community” or “Creative Commons” licenses allow players to request character deletion.
- Games using the “Host” license do not permit players to request character deletion, unless the player is also the host.
There are consequences to character deletion that you should bear in mind. At every place in the story where your character appeared or where you wrote content there will now be a blank hole, along with a message that your content was deleted. This will make the story harder to follow and will permanently degrade the game for your (former) fellow players.
Some things to consider before requesting deletion of your character:
- If you want to withdraw from a game, consider “retiring” your character instead. You can do this from your character’s page. Retiring removes you from the game but preserves your historical contributions so that the story remains understandable and your fellow players can more easily proceed without you.
- If you don’t want to see a game any more, you can click the “customize this list” link on your homepage. This will allow you remove it from the list of games shown on your homepage.
If you still want to delete your character, and if your game uses the “Community” or “Creative Commons” licenses:
Last updated: 3/1/2016
Storium is different from many games in that it revolves around collaborative, shared creations. Creators craft re-usable worlds upon which games can be based. Hosts start games and set the stage by creating cards and backstory. Narrators write scenes and introduce places, people, concepts. Players add their own characters, cards, and writing to the mix. Everyone works together to tell the story, building on each other’s ideas. This is part of what makes Storium special, but it also means that we’re charting new territory in matters of ownership and control of content.
To both simplify and clarify these matters for our players, Storium offers a range of game licenses. Hosts choose a license when they begin a game. Each license stipulates different ownership, usage, and deletion rights for the game’s participants and, sometimes, for other parties. If the game is based on a pre-existing world, that can also affect these rights.
Each game’s chosen license is displayed prominently below its banner. The licenses are also reproduced here, with plain English annotations to help you understand them:
Code of Conduct
Storium is a place where anyone is welcome and encouraged to tell stories from their imagination. Everyone has different ideas of what makes a good story, but since Storium is a collaborative game it requires players to bring a spirit of cooperation and open-mindedness to the table, and to take responsibility both for their conduct and for how it can impact other peoples’ experience.
Tolerance and safety are core values of this community. Discriminatory or abusive behavior is not permitted here. Every person is entitled to their personal beliefs, but in this community personal beliefs are not justification for actions or words that harm others. Similarly, Storium values your creative freedom, but that freedom does not come at the expense of others.
To ensure that Storium remains a vibrant and welcoming community, we expect all users to adhere to this Code of Conduct in all their interactions on Storium (including in games, forums, private messages, and anywhere else interactions can occur). Violators may have their access to Storium limited or revoked.
1. Play well with others
Storium seeks to be a refuge of kindness on an often-troubled internet. Always treat your fellow players, narrators, moderators, and Storium staff with both empathy and respect.
Embody Storium’s spirit of collaboration by following these principles:
- Be polite, considerate, honest, and constructive in your interactions here.
- When disagreements arise, address them respectfully, peacefully, and in good faith.
- Empower and encourage other people’s voices, both creatively and otherwise.
- Welcome and support newcomers to the community.
- Follow through on your commitments to other players. If you can’t, be courteous and let them know. After all, life happens!
- Recognize that there is no single “right way” to play Storium. Offer your advice and help, but accept that not everyone may agree with you.
- Don’t behave disruptively or “hijack” discussions on Storium’s forums, in Green rooms and Open lobbies, or in game Commentary.
- If someone doesn’t want to engage with you on Storium, be considerate and don’t push it.
2. Don’t be a jerk
Abusive language, hostility, discrimination, hate, bullying, or harassment are not permitted in user interactions on Storium.
The following are examples of behaviors that may result in immediate account termination:
- Discrimination, attacks, language, insults, or jokes made on the basis of gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, race, religion, age, or disability.
- Violence, threats of violence, incitement to violence, or violent language directed against another person.
- Posting or threatening to post other people’s personally identifying information in a public forum ("doxing").
- Unwelcome romantic or sexual attention. This includes romantic or sexualized comments or jokes, or non-consensual (i.e. not agreed to by the players involved) sexual material in games, forums, or private messages.
- Intimidation or stalking.
The following are examples of behaviors that may result in warnings (or, after repeated warnings, account suspension or termination, or other action):
- “Pile-ons” or cyber-bullying in which one or more users gang-up on others. (While Storium does not seek to silence the voices of those who have been harmed or reject the legitimacy of their feelings, we also will not allow this site to turn into a mechanism for retaliation.)
- Public shaming or personal attacks.
- Continued communication after requests to stop.
- Impersonating a member of the Storium team.
- Spamming or any marketing of outside services or products.
- Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior.
While Storium respects and protects personal beliefs and religious identity, neither can be used to justify any of the above listed behaviors.
Sometimes characters in stories are jerks even though their writers aren’t. If you think that any of the above themes, language, or behaviors may arise in-character in the course of play, discuss it with your fellow players first and make sure everyone is comfortable. And at all times show respect and compassion for the sensibilities and experiences of your fellow players.
3. Agree and communicate
Storytelling can be an intensely personal experience. Some stories explore topics that some people may find inappropriate, disturbing, or even painful. Storium games can also represent significant investments of both time and creative energy. All of this makes the following guidelines critical to success when playing with others:
- Before playing, reach agreement with your fellow players about content, tone, speed of play, and other fundamental aspects of the game you’ll be playing together.
- If there are topics that you do not want to be a part of your game, let your fellow players know as early as possible.
- Keep an open dialog with your fellow players. This should start from the very beginning of the game and continue throughout.
- If your game goes in a direction that bothers you, let your fellow players know as soon as possible.
- If one of your fellow players raises a concern, take it — and them — seriously.
If you’re a game’s host or narrator it is your responsibility to ensure that the above principles are followed. Ensuring up-front agreement and ongoing communication between players is the clearest path to success for your game(s). Set the right tone early on, and use tools like “Host’s rules,” “Triggers,” “Info for invitees and applicants,” and the Green room to set expectations, build understanding, and communicate any sensitive subjects that you expect your game may touch upon.
If you are the host or narrator of a publicly-visible game, it is also your responsibility to be sensitive to your readers and to the Storium community. If your game includes content or themes that would violate this Code of Conduct if they were applied to real rather than fictional situations or people, then you should consider making your game private. In some cases, Storium staff may administratively mark your game as private.
4. Play it safe
Storium does not require users to provide a real name or other personally identifying information. As with many sites on the Internet you can never be sure of the true identity of the people with whom you play unless you already know them from another context. Our Terms of Service and this Code of Conduct are intended to protect all of Storium’s users, and we provide tools both for managing your interactions with others and reporting incidents of abuse (see below). That said, it is still important to follow basic online safety practices on Storium:
- Protect your personally identifying information.
- Before playing with strangers, get to know them by looking at their profile and play history, and by talking with them directly.
- Recognize that you can’t always be sure that anyone you meet here is the same in real life as they present themselves online.
- If there are specific topics or themes that you prefer to avoid in your storytelling, indicate them on your profile page and also make sure your fellow players are aware of them before you start playing.
5. Think of the kids
Storium is available to users who are 13 years of age or older. This means that in addition to adults there can also be minors here. All users should bear this in mind when interacting with others.
- Storium requires users to confirm that they are 18 years of age or older before viewing or becoming a participant in any game that has been marked as “18+.”
- If you are playing in a game that includes or is expected to include themes or content inappropriate for readers under the age of 18, you must mark your game as “18+” and you must not knowingly invite under-18 users to participate.
- If you encounter a game that includes themes or content inappropriate for readers under the age of 18 and it has not already been marked as “18+,” help the community by marking it yourself.
- If you are playing in a game that becomes marked as “18+” after it has begun, and if you are not 18 years of age or older, it may no longer be appropriate for you to participate in that game. The host may ask you to leave the game or hand-off your role to another player. If this is requested, you should comply.
- Do not misrepresent your age with the intent of impersonating someone over (or under) the age of 18 or inappropriately gaining access to games marked as “18+.”
Games that include any of the following classes of content are considered “18+”:
- Written or visual content of a sexually explicit nature.
- Written or visual depictions of graphic violence or gore.
6. Follow the rules
In addition to this code of conduct, every area of the Storium site is also subject to Storium’s Terms of Service.
When conflicts arise
If you’re experiencing problematic interactions with another Storium user, when possible attempt to resolve the issue through direct communication.
- Tell the other party about your concerns and ask them to stop.
- Conversely, if someone voices concern about your own behavior, hear them out.
- Keep your interactions respectful and courteous.
- Look for a “win-win” solution, if one exists.
- Recognize that “winning” an argument is not always possible, or even the best goal. Know when to walk away.
- If the issue is occurring within a game that you are hosting, take responsibility for the situation and work with your fellow players to resolve it respectfully so that the group can continue playing.
- If you cannot resolve the situation, or if you need to remove yourself from it for your own health and safety, do not hesitate to use Storium‘s “block” feature (as described below).
- If you believe you are experiencing a violation of either this Code of Conduct or our Terms of Service, do not hesitate to report it to the Storium team (as described below). You do not have to bear the burden of such situations on your own.
If a disagreement is brought to a public context (like Storium’s forums), participants should avoid personal attacks and not engage in “dog-piling”, public shaming, or other forms of harassment.
Because it’s not always possible to resolve interpersonal conflicts, and because people should have the right to decide with whom they interact and on what terms, Storium provides a “block” feature that you can utilize at any time and at your sole discretion. This feature is accessed via “block” links in a number of locations across the site. Clicking any of these links adds the associated user to your block list. Blocking a user means:
- They can no longer send you private messages.
- They can no longer invite you to be a “friend.”
- They cannot “follow” your activity.
- They cannot view your profile page.
- They cannot apply to join Open Submission games you’re hosting, nor can they post in the Open Lobby of games you’re hosting.
- Threads they start on our forums are hidden from your view.
- Replies they make to forum threads are collapsed (but you can view them with an extra click).
- You will see a warning before viewing any games in which they participate.
(Note that blocking a user does not remove them from a game in which they’re already participating or to which they’ve already been invited.)
If you witness or experience behavior that violates either this Code of Conduct or our Terms of Service, you are strongly encouraged to report it to the Storium team. You can do this in two ways:
- Click the “report” link, found in a number of locations across the site. This opens a box that lets you list your specific concern(s). A detailed report is then sent directly to the Storium team.
- Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include as much information as possible, including the user name of the party in question and all relevant information and correspondence regarding your concerns.
Our enforcement policy
If we determine that no formal violation of our Code of Conduct or Terms of Service has occurred, we may still informally contact the reported party about their behavior.
The Storium team reviews all submitted reports, and aims to do so within three days of submission whenever possible. In the course of our review we may view private messages or private game content, but only that which is necessary to corroborate the complaint.
If we determine that a violation has indeed occurred, consequences may vary depending on the severity, history, and context.
- For certain violations explictly called-out above in this document, the reported party’s Storium account may be immediately terminated without notice.
- For other offenses, the reported party may receive a warning.
- If the reported party has already received three warnings for the same class of violation or for anything similar, we may take action including:
- Banishment from Storium’s forums.
- Removal of offending content.
- Temporary account suspension.
- Account termination and a permanent ban from using the service.
Additionally, Storium staff monitor our public forums and may remove without warning messages that violate our Code of Conduct or Terms of Service.
Note that Storium will work to maintain a respectful and safe environment even outside of these rules, and we’ll step in at any time if we deem it necessary.
Please contact us at email@example.com with any questions or concerns.
Last updated: 8/14/21
(Prior versions: 3/25/2017, 3/1/2016, 6/23/2014)
Last updated: 7/12/2016
Storium is free to play, with some minor limitations. Optional paid annual membership gives you access to play Storium without any limits. Because Storium is an independent, community-supported project, membership fees are the primary means by which we keep the site running and growing.
If you are unhappy with Storium, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a pro-rated refund for any months remaining in your current annual membership (excluding the month already in progress). If you have a monthly membership plan, you may instead request a refund of your current membership month at any time within the first 14 days of the current billing cycle. If you no longer wish to be charged by Storium, you should also cancel recurring billing of your membership. This can be done from your Profile page.
“The Deal” is a limited-time-only offer that grants the purchaser full access to all 60+ of our Kickstarter-funded “worlds,” as they become available.
If you are unhappy with your purchase, you can email us at email@example.com to request a full refund provided you have not created any games using any of the Kickstarter-funded worlds.