I recommend tvtropes.org for anybody who wants to learn how to GM. When I first started playing Saga, one of my current (but now on and off) players was the GM, and he and the rest of the group kept telling me that I should be the GM. I told them I had no idea how to GM a game, and he later told me to just read tvtropes.org every chance I get. I've been doing that ever since, and it's amazing how it's given me the confidence to run a game. It's like a correspondence course about how to tell a story to a bunch of gamers.
Oh...and the tvtropes website even has its own Star Wars page (tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Star...) that tells you what tropes appear in the Star Wars movies, so you can learn, specifically, how to tell a Star Wars story to a bunch of gamers.
I don't think you need to convert the d20 Modern rules, which have their own problems. Thanks to the Skill Challenge rules, you can use RAW to make rules to replace the tedious task of bean-counting credits.
Instead of keeping track of credits, here's a skill challenge you can run between adventures (or at the beginning or end of an adventure), to represent how the PCs manage their money and resources during downtime. This Skill Challenge can be used to replace the use of credits altogether, or can compliment the use of credits. Personally, I prefer to keep credits in the game to a small extent -- to represent cash carried -- since you need them for Gather Information rolls and such, but I prefer to use this Skill Challenge to represent all the other complicated concerns of finance (income, credit rating and lines of credit, and savings).
Instead of specifying the exact number of credits the employing NPC is offering to the party for completing your adventure, you can just describe the number of credits as "sufficient to grant each PC a single +2" in a roll in the below skill challenge, or "granting each PC a +2 to two rolls" in the skill challenge, or a +2 to three rolls, or a single automatic success, or two automatic successes, etc.
Skill Challenge: Making Your Way in the Universe CL 7* Complexity: 1 (5 successes before 3 failures) for a party of 2 or fewer PCs, 2 (8 successes before 3 failures) for a party of 3 to 4 PCs, 3 (11 successes before 3 failures) for a party of 5 or more PCs. Suggested Skills: Endurance [DC 22]: Doing without food and otherwise tightening your belt and stretching out the rations. Mechanics [DC 22]: Make do-it-yourself repairs and maintenance to the ship (if the party has one), weapons, clothing and equipment. Survival [DC 22]: Forage for food and resources to get by on limited supplies "Profession Check" [DC 27 / 30]: Any skill can be rolled as a "profession check" at DC 27 representing finding a sufficiently paying job based on that skill and completing it. The DC may be increased to 30 or higher (or use of that skill as a profession check may be ruled out altogether, at the GM's discretion) if the PCs are confined to a location where circumstances might limit use of that skill, such as using "Swim" to find work as a pearl diver on Tatooine, or using "Use the Force" to secretly assist the loading of cargo on Coruscant during the Imperial era. Challenge Effects: Catastrophic Failure: Failing a skill check by 10 or more accrues two failures. Degrees of Failure: at the end of the challenge, the heroes must deal with consequences for each failure accrued. Other: A Noble may claim an automatic success for each time he took the "Wealth" talent. Additionally, any character with a positive Organziation Score may add the score to a single skill roll to represent the character calling upon the resources of the organization to keep up with the cost of living; if the character fails the skill roll, however, his Organization Score is reduced by 1. Success: The party earns sufficiently during down-time to eat adequately, fuel and maintain their ship(s) / vehicle(s) / droid NPC(s), if any, and purchase adequate supplies. Each PC may acquire a single weapon, item of equipment or technological/biotechnological upgrade that is priced reasonably within their means. Failures: The party is desparate for work and suffers from the following effects: 1 failure: The PCs cannot afford to eat and haven't had a decent meal in days. Each PC suffers from a persistent -1 step on the Condition Track until he is fed a square meal. 2 failures: As 1 failure, and, in addition, the PCs' ship is out of fuel and they cannot leave the planet's atmosphere until they can refill the hyperdrive fuel reserve; if the PCs have no ship, they are unable to pay for passage off-world. 3 failures: As 2 failures, and, in addition, the party must pawn (collectively remove from their character sheets) weapons and equipment totaling a number of credits equaling 200 x the number of PCs in the party.
*You can change the CL of the challenge to suit your tastes. If your party operates in the Core and suffers no entanglements to thwart the PCs' activities, you could reduce the CL. I chose a CL of 7 because I figured that by the time the PCs are high enough level to chose prestige classes, they shouldn't be struggling to complete this skill challenge anymore. But until they are that high a level, I designed this challenge with a high enough difficulty to give it that Firefly/Serenity feel.
To anyone who may use the Skill Challenge in the preceding post, please note that today I edited that post. I tweaked the "Other" Challenge Effect to include allowing those with a positive Organziation Score to add the score to a single skill roll to represent the character calling upon the resources of the organization to keep up with the cost of living; if the character fails the skill roll, however, his Organization Score is reduced by 1.
A little bit of thread necromancy here in two forms, but I thought it was a useful piece of analysis on Skill Challenges I remembered reading in the Mess Hall by highbulp quite some time ago (given the nature of this thread, I thought it might be an idea to include it):
The DCs in Saga actually scale wonderfully (unlike in 4e), so that them become easy to analyze. They are built with a couple of apparent assumptions though. First is that characters will have a +2 ability score bonus to their skill checks, increasing to +3 at 4th level, to +4 at 12th level, and so on. Based on that, a 9th level character trained in a skill will have 4 (half level) + 3 (ability) + 5 (training) = +12 bonus to a skill. This is perfectly solid math, though it breaks down slightly for well-rounded characters (with more 14s and 15s than 16s and 17s in stats). But no matter, we'll ignore that. Assume that a character has +12 in a trained skill ("Trained"), +17 in a focused skill ("Focused"), and +7 in an untrained skill ("Untrained").
With this math, it becomes pretty easy to see how hard the various categories are. Easy DCs are Trained+6, Medium DCs are Trained+11, Moderate DCs are Trained+16, and so forth. The reason those numbers are so beautiful is because this means that--with a trained skill--you need to roll a 6 to beat an Easy DC, an 11 to beat a Medium DC, etc. Rolling a 6 has a 75% chance, rolling an 11 has a 50% chance, and rolling a 16 has a 25% chance.
Conclusion: Easy DCs give Trained characters a 75% chance of success, Medium DCs give Trained characters a 50% chance of success, Moderate DCs give Trained characters a 25% chance of success. Similarly, Hard DCs mean that Trained characters have basically a 0% chance of success [for our +12 character to hit that DC, we'd have to roll a natural 20], and Heroic DCs are impossible for simply Trained characters to make [our +12 characters would need to roll a nat 20, and score a 5 on a Force Point].
So what they call Easy is in fact pretty easy--a trained character is going to make that most of the time (75%). What they call Medium is also about medium difficulty--generally characters will have a 50-50 chance of making that. But what they call Moderate really should be called Hard, as now Trained characters have only a 1/4 chance of succeeding. Hard really should be more like "Very Hard" or "Practically Impossible" and Heroic should be "Yeah Right."
Now of course if the characters are Focused, then the DCs all shift down a category--now you have a 50% chance of making that Moderate DC, and 75% chance of making the Hard DCs. But that's only for Focused skills, which is the vast minority of checks. In fact, this would limit the party to only a handful of skills. I'm not sure why the category headings are based on the assumption that you'll be making checks with a skill that you are Focused in (and have a 16 in the relevant stat), when most of the time characters are probably just Trained in a skill.
In short: what is called Moderate should really be called Hard, because unless you're doing something you're focused in, you are three times more likely to fail than to succeed.
In fact, if you look through the Sample Challenges, the vast majority of them pull DCs from the Easy and Medium categories--in other words, when the PCs have at least even odds of success (most have like 2 Easy checks, 2 Medium checks, and 1 Moderate check). And the reason for wanting to focus on these easier categories (where the PCs more likely to succeed than fail) follows from the basic math that drove 4e to adjust it's challenge DCs immediately after launch.
Basically, there are simple probabilities that will determine the likelihood of rolling a certain number of successes before 3 failures. The table below lists some of these chances (I recalculated them myself, but the numbers can also be found at www.highprogrammer.com/alan/gaming/dnd/4...skill-challenge-broken.html, with a bit more detail about stuff):
Per check chance
Complexity 1 (5S v 3F)
Complexity 2 (8S v 3F)
Complexity 3 (11S v 3F)
Basically, as the complexity increases, the chance of Failing becomes even harder, to the point where even with all Easy DCs, the PCs have only a 1/3 chance of succeeding on the challenge. This is part of why there are all the various Challenge Effects--you can make it harder to fail, and so give the players a fighting chance at actually succeeding in the challenge.
But the basic conclusion of all the math is that you should generally be using Easy DCs, sometimes with Medium DCs, and only occasionally use a Moderate DC when you really need to make something a challenge, if you want the PCs to actually succeed at the Challenge . I have no idea why they even included a "Heroic" DC--even a Focused character needs to roll a Nat 20 to make that, which is just pointless IMO. They should instead have included another "Very Easy" or "Trivial" column, which are nigh automatic for Trained skills, but could be a 75% challenge for untrained skills (or even a 50% challenge for ability checks).
Note that liberal usage of Aid Another can shift this math a bit, but as the game discourages Aid Another (and I personally find it boring), I'm ignoring it.
That's very helpful. Thanks, Darth_Scorpion. I particularly like this summary:
Conclusion: Easy DCs give Trained characters a 75% chance of success, Medium DCs give Trained characters a 50% chance of success, Moderate DCs give Trained characters a 25% chance of success. ...Hard DCs mean that Trained characters have basically a 0% chance of success [...we'd have to roll a natural 20], and Heroic DCs are impossible for simply Trained characters to make [our +12 characters would need to roll a nat 20, and score a 5 on a Force Point].
....if the characters are Focused, then the DCs all shift down a category
That's going to make it much easier for me, not just for skill challenges, but for conceptualizing any skill checks.