Owen Explains It All — Predictive Math for Starfinder

Before we get to any OGL content, an editorial aside:

First, this blog has spoilers for Foundation — the book series and miniseries. So if you want to avoid those, don’t read this.

Second, you may be wondering why is this tagged as an “Owen Explains It All” post, when that’s very unlike my normal marketing tone? Well, because this links into a show from the BAMF podcast I’m on, titled “Owen Explains It All!“. We do an episode every two weeks, picking new things from the zeitgeek to use as inspiration for game material, specifically the Starfinder Roleplaying Game.

We have a logo and everything!

If you haven’t already gone and watched the November 8th, 2021 episode, we talk about various versions of Issac Asimov’s Foundation. Specifically, how it is build on psycho-history, a fictional “soft science” that allows perfect mathematical predictions of the far future using predictive models of trillions of humans (and doesn’t work for smaller numbers of people, much as you can accurately model the spreading of a gas cloud, but cannot predict where a specific molecule of that cloud will go).

And all of that leads me to M-PSI, as OGL content

Mathematical Predictive Statistic Indices

Also known as M-PSI, Mathematical Predictive Statistic Indices is the science of using vast quantities of data about past events to predict the outcome of future events. M-PSI is not perfect—it models probabilities, not absolutely, and it requires trillions of points of reference in past similar events before it can make useful predictions about future outcomes. Thus it is a science that can only be developed by Elder Societies, those cultures that have actively existed and keep records for millions of years, allowing them to build up indices of enough situations to have comparable examples for nearly any occurrence.

While most ancient cultures that developed M-PSI collapsed millions of years ago, some left the indic3s themselves, allowing specialists in certain kinds of mathematics to use them in a predictive manner. Learning M-PSI is extremely difficult, and is modeled by requiring characters to take feats to have a useful grasp of the techniques.

M-PSI 101
You can use pure the math of Mathematical Predictive Statistic Indices to determine how to interact with and define the real world.
Prerequisite: 1 rank Profession (Mathmetician)
Benefit: Select two of the following skills; Computers, Engineering, Life Science, Physical Science. You can make a Profession (Mathematician) check in place of any check for the selected skills.
Special: You can select this feat more than once. Each time, you must choose 2 different skills from the list.

P-PSI 201
You can use pure the math of Mathematical Predictive Statistic Indices to predict the future.
Prerequisite: M-PSI 101, 4 ranks Profession (mathmatician)
Benefit: As long as you have access to a tier 0 or higher computer (such as a datapad), you can use M-PSI to actually predict future events. Doing so takes 1 minute, requires the expenditure of 1 Resolve Point, and is an extraordinary ability. The stress of M-PSI on any sapient brain is considerable, limiting how often the technique can be used. Once you complete use this feat, you cannot do so again until after you next recuperate*.

If you have 4 or more ranks of Profession (mathematician) your M-PSI formula can duplicate the effects of a 1st-level Akashic tutor spell.

If you have 7 or more ranks of Profession (mathematician) your M-PSI formula can duplicate the effects of a predict foe spell, except once you take a minute to perform the M-PSI formula, the benefit lasts until expended or you again use this feat for a M-PSI ability.

If you have 10 or more ranks of Profession (mathematician) ) your M-PSI formula can duplicate the effects of a probability prediction spell, except once you take a minute to perform the M-PSI formula, the benefit lasts until expended or you again use this feat for a M-PSI ability.

If you have 13 or more ranks of Profession (mathematician) your M-PSI formula can duplicate the effects of a divination spell. This takes 1 hour, and can only be done 1ce per day.

Expanded Post

This is an Expanded Post, with the rules for nanite IDs (an item inspired by the Foundation miniseries, rather than the books) available to my Patrons, who provide me with the support that makes these posts possible. If you aren’t already a member of my Patreon, sign up and all the Expanded Posts to date become available!

About okcstephens

Owen K.C. Stephens Owen Kirker Clifford Stephens is the Starfinder Design Lead for Paizo Publishing, the Freeport and Pathfinder RPG developer for Green Ronin, a developer for Rite Publishing, and the publisher and lead genius of Rogue Genius Games. Owen has written game material for numerous other companies, including Wizards of the Coast, Kobold Press, White Wolf, Steve Jackson Games and Upper Deck. He also consults, freelances, and in the off season, sleeps.

Posted on November 12, 2021, in Game Design, Starfinder Development and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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