|Notable Games||World of Darkness, Exalted, Scion, Trinity, Scarred Lands, World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game|
White Wolf is a game publishing company formed in 1991, known primarily for the World of Darkness and Exalted settings. Its less well-known but still viable settings are Scion (urban fantasy based on real-world mythology; basically, you get to play modern day demigods) and Trinity (a trinity of settings bound by common backstory; pulp age gadgeteers and mystery men, grimdark superheroes, and psychic warriors in a post-apocalyptic Earth. It takes its name from the heroic epithet of the archetypical fantasy edgelord, Elric of Melniboné, from Michael Moorcock's novels.
The game system is a d10 dice pool. It manages to make the simplicity of rolling a fist full of d10s and hoping for at least one numeral result sound complicated. A typical challenge may want you to roll 8-10; if you have, say, a five skill, roll 5d10 and hope for one to be 8-10. Because of the loosey-goosey rules, it could require more then one eight, something higher, something lower, maybe a specific number. This is why White Wolf is good.
White Wolf also has point buy with three categories of stats that you separate by tier in how many points you want for that stat. Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary. Something like eight points, five points, and three points. It may be more or less.
Typically White Wolf releases shit with A LOT OF FUCKING FLUFF. So much fluff that the manual itself is just these gigantic pillow with pages inside of it. These hulking grimoires of GRIMDARK will talk all about how the World of Darkness is a shitty place to live. (>>Implying real life is such a great place to live...) And to stick to attracting fat goth kids, you play as vampires, werewolves, sorcerers, ghosts, etc. However, as Games Workshop was already the undisputed master of GRIMDARK before any White Wolf employee was so much as a sperm in their father's ballsack, they just come off as being silly.
Everyone copies off White Wolf and White Wolf never gets credit. The movie Underworld, for example, ripped off their werewolves vs. vampires thing, and Sony eventually lost a lawsuit over this. Twilight would do the same thing later, but White Wolf didn't sue because they didn't want to associate with glitter vampires. White Wolf is the red headed stepchild of RPGs, but has a lot more plot to it. Unfortunately, this attracts even worse players than typical neckbeards (e.g., wannabe actors and bad poets).
Every time a White Wolf employee plays a game at a convention, their characters will be blatant Mary Sues. The only way their Sueishness could be more obvious is if they had giant fucking purple neon signs saying "GOD DAMNED MOTHER FUCKING MARY SUES!!!"
They are also entirely unable to lay out a book, such as putting contents pages after thirty pages of novel/comic at the start of the book or forgetting about things like indexes.
In 2006 they were bought by Icelandic game company CCP Games (better known for its work on the sci-fi MMO/spreadsheet simulator EVE Online), with an eye towards creating a World of Darkness MMO. Sadly this worked about as well as could be expected and in an ensuing financial crunch (caused by, what else, gross mismanagement) White Wolf took the brunt of a massive wave of layoffs. In 2014, CCP killed the WoD MMO to the surprise of absolutely no one.
Since 2011, White Wolf made a 20th anniversary edition of Vampire: the Masquerade, which sold well enough for them to do the same for Werewolf and Mage, was officially disbanded as a company, and turned into a new company called Onyx Path Publishing to handle making these books while CCP leases them the rights to make books for the games they created to begin with. They also discovered Kickstarter and indices and have been making liberal use of both of them.
As of October 2015, CCP sold the White Wolf IP to Paradox Interactive; since then, Paradox has restarted the original World of Darkness line under a reconstituted White Wolf studio while allowing Onyx Path to continue working on the new World of Darkness line (now renamed "Chronicles of Darkness" to make the distinction between the two clearer), while allowing them to act as partners in redesigning the old games.
In the days when OGL was a thing for Dungeons & Dragons 3.5, White Wolf published a number of D&D books under the "Swords & Sorcery Studio" imprint. These included the 3.5 update to Ravenloft (handled a hell of a lot better than either AD&D Ravenloft or World of Darkness), the Gamma World D20 edition (which caught a lot of flak for its grimdark status), a tabletop version of World of Warcraft, and their own custom setting, the interestingly grimbright setting Scarred Lands.