But, might the bracer need to know the present to predict the future? The bracer may need to be able to tap into everything going on right then in order to extrapolate the future,
No, it doesn't *need* to do this. Probability always include the uncertainty in your knowledge as well as uncertainty in the world itself. And the bracer only gives probabilities and numbers, not certainties. It does mathamancy, not predictamancy.
and the only limitation on accessing this ability is knowing what questions to ask.
We can take reasonable guesses on the limitations though.
For example, when the dwagons were unveiled, and Parson was talking about the probabilities of victory. He said "depending on the unknown caster, it could be between 50% and 80%" or something like that.
Are you really saying that, if he'd just asked "What's the probability that it's a shockamancer? lookamancer? thinkamancer? " and so on, he would have been able to read off of the bracer the exact unit that was there? And that, after so much time with the bracer, he didn't know that, and proceeded to ask the entirely stupid questions of "what's the probability we'll win if it's a [something]mancer?"
I think it's quite reasonable to judge based on his actions that no, he could *not* have gotten that intel just by asking a few quick questions of his bracer. Otherwise he would have done that.
Kreistor wrote:The truth is that we have no idea how Parson is inputting his questions to the bracer, and until that has been expounded on, it is still undefined. He may have drop down menus to select unit type, a range of levels, averages, weighted averages, and a host of other options. Speculation is not going to answer this question.
I think we've seen that it's not dropdown menus. It's subvocalization, natural thinkamancy - similar to how commanders give orders to units and suchlike.