Because there are a lot of different parts to The Dicenomicon, here is a quick summary of all of them, as well as other terms that will be used
Dice are virtual models of real world dice. They have properties like the number of sides, their color, and what is displayed on their faces (usually a number between 1 and however many sides the die has).
A collection of dice that are displayed at the bottom of the screen. Tap on the die, one is rolled on the screen. Tap another, a second die is added to the rolling dice. By default, only the basic common dice are shown (four, six, eight, ten, twelve, twenty, and “percentage” dice). These can be edited to add additional dice, and even make multiple dice bars (swiping upward on the dice bar will switch between them in order).
A textual shorthand representation of what dice to roll, how many, and what to do with them once rolled. This formula looks like a mathematical equation, with special symbols to indicate the dice. This is also called a “roll” (or “roll formula”) for obvious reason. A collection of your favorite formulas can be easily accessed so they are only a tap or two away.
The area on the screen where the dice are rolled on. It can be a simple texture, a more complex pattern, or even a PDF document (or other such “active” backgrounds that you can interact with). Tapping on the bar at the top of the screen will hide the dice so you can interact with background (or pick another background).
Besides the background, The Dicenomicon can display accessories - small little utilities that can be used for things like keeping quick “sticky” notes, tally of scores, or other such items. The dice roll on top of them, but you can still interact with them even with the dice there (and they hide with the dice when you access the background). These can also be configured where you select the background.Expert Terms
The Dicenomicon allows you to create custom dice. These fall into two primary categories: those that have numeric values; and those that display some sort of textual information. Both allow for a different value to be displayed on the die from what the die is “worth” when rolled. For example, you can create dice with roman numerals, so they show “I”, ”II”, ”III”, ”IV”, etc… but are still the same as traditional dice 1, 2, 3, 4…
There are also two special kinds of dice, which aren’t exactly dice (but are, instead, made up of dice). The first is a “compound” die that is made up of several dice rolled together as unit, and the value is based on all the dice. A classic example of this are “percentage” dice (two ten sided dice, one with the number 0..9, the other with 00..90, and the sum of the two dice indicating the actual value). The other kind is a “step” die, such as used in the game Earthdawn or the Cortex system, where rather than adding dice, the number of sides increases.
In a number of games, dice are “open ended”/“exploding”. This means that if you roll a six sided die and get a six, the you roll another die of the same kind and add that to the total (or re-roll the existing die and just add six). Dice can also be open ended on the low end (to allow for results less than one). The Dicenomicon support all the common variations of this, and with special “roll macros”, pretty much any other kind of die roll mechanisms can be simulated.
There are times when you want special mechanisms to apply to how die are rolled. For example, you may have a rule that if you roll a 1, you can re-roll that die (but only the first time - if you get a 1 the second time, you are stuck with it). These can be handled by roll macros - a special series of “if-then” conditions that are applied to each die roll. In the previous example, the roll macro can (essentially) say “if you rolled a one and this is the first time, ignore this value and re-roll the die, otherwise, use whatever the face value of the die is”.
By default, when you roll dice, you take the sum of them. Occasionally, you want to do something else with them. After roll macros are applied to the roll, the roll reducer takes the collection of dice rolled and, by default, takes the sum of them. One common rule is something like “roll four dice, but only use the three highest”. Or “roll dice, but only count those who are more than a given value”. These, and other, roll reducers are available to take your dice and evaluate what they mean.
Roll formulas are useful, but would be annoying if you had to make a bunch of them, one to roll 1 die, another to roll 2 dice, a third to roll 3 dice, etc… The Dicenomicon provides a mechanism to allow you to abstract away numbers like the number of dice (or their sides, or just about any other constant value) and be prompted for the value when you actually roll the formula. This mechanism is called a parameter.
Besides being able to display values (like the results of a roll), The Dicenomicon provides a simple mechanism to specify richer text formatting (such as bold, italic, various colors, etc…). It does this with a series of commands embedded in the string, marked with a backslash (“\”). So “Hello” will display the word “Hello”, but “\rHello” will display it in red.
Global Variables/Global Functions
Trying to keep track of your character’s stats and hit points won’t do much good unless they are actually saved (and can be used by various formulas). To this end, The Dicenomicon provides for global variables that are saved automatically, as well as global functions that you can write to simply your rolls by reusing formulas (for example, converting a stat into a roll bonus is usually the same formula regardless of the stat).
Game specific global data (e.g., stats, health, skills, feats) are defined in game specific files. The Dicenomicon takes that information and automatically creates a “worksheet” user interface that allow you to edit this information. While not always the most elegant of a user experience, worksheets allow you to edit everything about your character that The Dicenomicon knows about. These are rarely designed to be things that change while you are playing - after all, how often does your character’s stats or race change?
There are times when you want to easily change part of your character (and later be able to change it back) due to temporary condition based modifiers. For example, there may be a rule that says that if a character is “confused” (suffering from a confusion spell or effect), their wisdom rolls are all made at a -3 penalty. The Dicenomicon provides for the ability to set up these effects ahead of time and then just toggle them on/off as needed and automatically have those effects be applied to the character.
Being able to keep track of a character’s information is great, but what if you are playing in more then one gaming group (especially if the different groups use different games)? The Dicenomicon provides the ability to have multiple “game rooms” - effectively different documents with their own separate storage and preferences.
A cast member is part of a game room. Normally, your game room would hold all the information for a character in a standard role playing game. However, if you are playing a game where you are playing a troop of characters, you could have a separate game room for each (ugh), or you can make multiple cast members in the same game room (yay). Cast members have access to everything in the game room, as well having “private” storage for their data (variables, formulas, favorite rolls, props). As a GM, you can use cast members to represent opponents in an encounter (making it easier to track damage, etc..) This can also be used for simple dice games with multiple players - one game room for the game, each player is a cast member.
If you swipe from the right edge of the screen, a small table will appear that shows all the cast members in the current game room. You use this to switch between who is the active cast member.
Dice pools are special accessories that represent a collection of specific dice (i.e., with their values). These dice are then rolled or moved to other dice pools. There are two visual representations with slightly different behavior - dice bags and dice ledges. Regardless of the representation, when dice are rolled onto the table, they are internally marked to know which pool they came from. After rolling, when the dice are either marked as held or the “clear” button is pressed, they can be designated to move back to their original pool or to a different one. All representations of a dice pool includes a “roll” button which rolls dice from that pool - either all of them (the normal behavior for ledges) or a specified number of them (the normal behavior for bags). This makes it trivial to support games where you’ve got a collection of dice and, for example, you “randomly pick three dice out of your bag and roll them”. Besides rolling on the table, you can specify that those dice are instead moved to another dice pool (to implement a Quarriors style game where there is a “spent” pool where thing then move to a “recycle” pool). This can be specified both for the general “roll” button, as well as when individual dice are selected.
Dice pools are also edited much like dice bars - so you can quickly set up a pool of, say, five different colored d6 dice.
Dice bags are accessories that represent a “blind” dice pool. You don’t get to see what dice are there, and a specified number of dice are picked at random when you roll from them. Note that since you can’t see the dice, you can not select one specific one (unless you view the dice pool in the global dice bar)
Dice ledges are horizontal or vertical areas much the global dice bar at the bottom of the screen to hold specific dice. Since dice pools are effectively like dice bars (but with a specific die instead of a “factory” that creates a new one), all dice pools are automatically available in the global dice bar as a “pseudo dice ledge”. Swiping upward will cycle through dice bars and all dice pools in the current room.
Information about the mechanics of a game system can be encapsulated into a special file, which can be selected and provide support for that game system. This includes general information (such as formulas and common rolls), character information (stats, skills, etc…) and other information (databases of monsters, SRD documents, etc…).
A game system usually provides a default character sheet (a form for recording a character’s information). However, there can be more than one kind of character sheet provided - for example, a wizard character would want a be able to record a spell book.
Think of this as an add on to game systems and character sheets - optional rules that extend a game system (such as psionics in 3.5e). They have to be explicitly added to the game system to be used
Similar to extensions, a tome provide a way to make generic (non system dependent) extensions. For example, a generator that create random tavern names, a table that generates weather, or custom dice that have a pirate theme to the sides, can all be in an optional tome (tomes are stored as either a single XML file, or a zip file with the extension “dntome” whose content includes a file “tome.xml” and any other additional files such as images).
XML files are used as a standard for exporting/importing various things such as game rooms and custom dice, as well as for designing game systems and character sheets.