Just documenting the differences between the two since I ran 4th for quite a few years and am starting in on 5th. I’ll likely expand things as I further gather information but at least the initial parts will be bullet points.
* Lots of price changes in gear but mainly bringing 5th to 3rd Edition levels. Lots of the 4th prices were dropped quite a bit.
* Limits have been added. This puts a cap on the total number of successes you can achieve when rolling dice. There are several however the Physical, Mental, and Social are the main ones. They’re derived from your Attributes. When you need to roll 15 dice for something, the limit is the maximum number of successes you can count regardless of the roll.
* Accuracy has been added to weapons. Accuracy is basically the same as Limits in that it dictates the maximum number of successes you can achieve.
* Spell Damage Resistance is Force – (some number) where in 4th it was (Force / 2) – (some number). The (some number) values are mostly positive where in 4th there were some positive and some negative (some numbers).
* Melee weapon Damage is Strength + (some number) vs 4th which was (Strength / 2) + (some number).
* Initiative in 4th was (Intuition + Logic) number of d6 dice. In 5th it’s (Intuition + Logic) as a base number and you roll 1d6 to increase the base.
* Cyberware and Bioware would add Initiative Passes, speed giving you an extra turn. In 5th they add extra d6 rolls to the dice pool to a maximum of 5d6. Passes are now similar to 3rd where the totals would be in place, 22, 19, 16, 13, 10, 9, 7 for the first Initiative pass, then 10 is subtracted and folks who still have positive Initiative values (12, 9, 6, 3) would go again, then 10 is subtracted and the rest (2) goes one more time.
* Hacking in 4th was attempted for User, Admin, and Security levels. In 5th you’re creating “Marks” which give you the same level of access (3 Marks max) and 4 Marks was the owner of the system.
* There are Cyberdecks in addition to Commlinks. Commlinks revert to being equivalent to smartphones with basic functionality and ‘decks have the extra common and hacking programs.
* Cyberdecks have four attributes however they’re reconfigurable on boot of the device and through a program, reconfigurable while active.
* In 4th, you’d combine a program’s rank and the appropriate commlink value to have a Dice Pool in order to complete a program task. In 5th, Programs simply provide bonuses to a separate list of actions. In 4th for example, you’d use the Data Search active skill plus the Browse program to create the dice pool and you’d need n successes to succeed. In 5th the ‘deck has attributes you’d use such as Data Processing and combine it with the Computer active skill to create the Dice Pool. The Browse program still exists but its only function is to cut the time searching the Matrix in half.
* Armor has been combined into a single stat
* There’s a “Grid Overwatch Division” (GOD) that keeps an eye on the Matrix. Using a Deck over a longer period of time can attract their attention which is a bad thing.
* Glitches have a slight change. Where it was “half of your dice pool or more”, it’s now “more than half your dice pool”. So it’s slightly harder to glitch.