This is the page devoted to outlining the Rule Hacks for Waking the Dead: Welcome to the New Age. If you want to look at "canon" rules for White Wolf Systems, refer to this guide instead.
GENERAL RULE HACKS (APPLICABLE TO ALL CLASSES)
DIAL 111 FOR TERRIBLE THINGS
Rolling no successes AND getting three 1s in one roll means that your character suffered a dramatic failure.
PARADOX IS A BITCH TO EVERYONE
All supernatural abilities can now suffer from Paradox, based on the same table used by Mages (i.e. according to their Supernatural Advantage rating, like Vigor for Cards). “Covert” abilities will not suffer from this, but anything that can be justifiably vulgar in nature (as determined by the mod team, and informed by circumstances in game) will.
UNIVERSAL “SPELL POTENCY”
Applicable supernatural abilities now possess a Spell Potency equal to their activation successes. This means that other supernatural abilities, such as the Mage Dispel abilities, can diffuse them with the proper rolls.
GENERAL RULE HACKS FOR COMBAT.
AGGRAVATED CALLED SHOTS
A called shot to the head, using any kind of weapon or firearm, inflicts aggravated damage, NOT lethal damage. An unarmed strike to the head still inflicts bashing damage, unless the character has some way to inflict lethal hand damage. Targeting the head imposes a –5 modifier.
When a character successfully hits with a Brawl or Weaponry based attack and the victim attacks the character in response, if the victim’s retaliatory attack misses then the character’s next attack against that target receives a +1 bonus. This bonus is cumulative and lasts until either the original attacker attacks another enemy or the victim lands a successful attack on the character. Like most bonuses, the bonus from this hack tops out at +5.
Sometimes, the discrepancy between a character's level of skill and another character plus the circumstances at hand make it simply implausible for any sort of action to succeed.
If the deduction to a roll equals or greatly exceeds zero, then - regardless of the results of the chance die - the character will not succeed. We determine a "great excess" as a -6 or above.
Example: Yulia wishes to attack the Clock Tower Guardian. Her total attack dice pool is 15, but the Clock Tower Guardian's Defense and Armor is 30. 15 minus 30 = -15. Therefore, even if she did make a blow that connected on her target somewhere, the attack has no effect whatsoever.
Players are free to make the attempt at rolling a chance die anyway for story flavor. Rolling a 1 on a chance die, however, will still result in a dramatic failure.
WATCH MY BACK
Although being ganged up on can be deadly in the World of Darkness, having stalwart friends at your back can even the odds. For every ally within your reach, you ignore one point of Defense reduction due to multiple attackers. For example, if three of your friends are within arm’s reach during a fight, you can be attacked by up to four opponents before your Defense starts to drop on the fifth. Rationale: This hack encourages characters to stick together and fight as a team, especially when outnumbered.
RULE HACKS FOR CHANGING BREEDS.
When a werewolf wears the Throwback, the War Beast, or Dire Beast, he applies the higher of his Dexterity or Wits as his Defense, like an animal.
Purchasing Beast Magic no longer reduces your Feral Heart, or limits it in any fashion. Furthermore, Beast Magic Arcana can be bought up to Rank 4. All other rules, however, apply as according to Mage: the Awakening.
A Changing Breed can regenerate a number of points of bashing damage equal to his Feral Heart rating each turn, rather than just one. If the player spends a point of Essence, the character can regenerate a number of Health points lost to lethal damage.
WE CAN DO A BIT OF WHAT YOU CAN DO TOO.
Any Rule Hacks specific to Mages also apply to Changing Breed characters with Beast Magic.
RULE HACKS FOR CHANGELING.
A changeling’s player can spend a point of Glamour to add the character’s Wyrd rating to his Defense for a turn. This is a reflexive action, and it does not work on other changelings or on ensorcelled humans. Onlookers have a hard time drawing a bead on the changeling; his form seems inconstant and shaky.
REVELATION IN PAIN
Whenever a changeling suffers a lethal wound in combat, onlookers may roll Wits + Composure as a reflexive action. If the roll succeeds, the witness sees the changeling’s mien for a split second. Obviously, this hack doesn’t apply to changelings and other characters who could see the mien anyway.
SUP ON AGONY
If a changeling makes an attack that inflicts more damage than the target’s Stamina, OR the attack marks enough boxes on the victim’s Health character to cause wound penalties, the changeling’s player can immediately roll Wits + Empathy to harvest Glamour as a reflexive action. Changelings cannot harvest Glamour from each other in this manner, though they can take Glamour from the emotions of other supernatural beings. Whether any of the Court bonuses (especially fear or wrath, though desire is hardly out of the question) apply is up to the Storyteller.
RULE HACKS FOR MAGE.
When a mage attacks with a spell, she can use the all-out attack rule to gain +2 on the spell-casting roll at the cost of losing her Defense until her next turn. This option can only be performed in combat, and only on an aimed spell.
IMPROVED MAGE SIGHT AND SCRUTINY
Traditionally, a scrutiny roll is always equal to Intelligence + Occult. In Waking the Dead, however, a Mage character can now add the activation successes of their Mage Sight spell to their Scrutiny roll as bonus dice.
SOMETIMES, THE UNIVERSE APPROVES
If the ST rolls a dramatic failure on a Paradox dice pool, then the Mage character in question gains a bonus to his roll rather than a penalty.
RULE HACKS FOR MORTALS.
NEW ADVANTAGE: CONVICTION
Conviction isn't actually a thing with "canon" World of Darkness mortals. You can check how this works to a Deadwalker's advantage in our Character Creation Guide.
RULE HACKS FOR VAMPIRE.
When a vampire feeds, it automatically heals two points of bashing damage per point of Vitae consumed, or one point of lethal damage for every two points of Vitae consumed. The vampire chooses which injuries to heal, and any leftover healing is lost. Aggravated wounds cannot be healed by feeding; they require time and Vitae as described in Vampire: The Requiem.
If you want to make vampires extremely hard to kill, this hack is in addition to the vampire’s ability to spend Vitae to heal wounds; otherwise, feeding might be the only way for vampires to heal bashing and lethal damage, or spending Vitae to heal might cost double for bashing and lethal damage (one Vitae per bashing wound, two per lethal wound).
RULE HACKS FOR WEREWOLF.
When a werewolf wears the war form, the near wolf form, or the wolf form, he applies the higher of his Dexterity or Wits as his Defense, like an animal.
When a werewolf enters Death Rage, it always makes all-out attacks (p. 157 of the World of Darkness Rulebook). This means the player receives a +2 to all attacks, but the werewolf also can’t benefit from Defense while in Death Rage.
A werewolf can regenerate a number of points of bashing damage equal to his Primal Urge rating each turn, rather than just one. If the player spends a point of Essence, the character can regenerate a number of Health points lost to lethal damage.
This section is always evolving as Pam works out more rule hacks or revises any that don't seem to work, so keep an eye out for announcements!
This post will double as a Q&A section for queries regarding the rule hacks of Waking the Dead, homebrew template stuff and similar questions. Comment threads will not be screened so that other players can check in and see if their questions were already answered in the past.