Trouble understanding how to use Symbolic Dice

I have a question for folks, I am trying to use the Symbolic dice button and also display the graphics icons for the dice but can’t completely figure it out yet.

The documentation say I can use something like this:

$name$ = <img src="d6-$result1$-Red.png" width="14" height="14"> <span style="color:#ffffff;">$result1$

But I an not understanding the -*.png part.

I want to be able to do something like what VASL does, but when I edited that module I could not find nor see any dice in there.

VASL does this:


But when I try to use this:

$name$ *** <$PlayerName$> rolled = <img src="d6-$result1$-Red D6.png" width="14" height="14"> <span style="color:#ffffff;">$result1$

and my die faces are:

But I get this as a result in the chat window (yes I implemented HTML text in chat);

Lastly I can get the die to pop in a window but that is not what I am after, I want it to show the die in the chat window.


Any thoughts or help on what I am missing?

Thank you in advance.

My code did not come through:

$name$ = <img src="d6-$result1$-Red D6.png" width="14" height="14"> <span style="color:#ffffff;">$result1$ 

You’re close–just following the example in the documentation too literally. You just want to make what’s inside the <img> tag conform to the filenames of your die face images.

The example snippet: <img src="d6-$result1$-Red D6.png" width="14" height="14"> will work if you have image files named:

d6-1-Red D6.png
d6-2-Red D6.png
d6-3-Red D6.png
…and so on.

But as pictured, those are not the filenames of your images. To get the Symbolic Dice message format to match your image filenames, I think you’ll want to use:

<img src="Red D6 $result1$.png" width="14" height="14">


Thanks, that helps me get a little closer.

I renamed the image files like so (to prevent any confusion on my part):

And edited the report format properties like so:

`$PlayerName$ - $PlayerSide$ rolled <img src="Red-D6-$result1$.png" width="14" height="14"> <span style="color:#aaccff;">$result1$ 

I also made sure I changed the faces of the symbolic die as well.

But I am still seeing:

Thanks for the assist, any more thoughts to jar me in the right direction?


Thanks agian!

Here is a sample module I made some time ago with working dice in the Chat Log. Hope it helps.


[edit] Whoops I see you are using symbolic dice and my sample uses the Dice Button

First of all thank you to both of you for responding. You both in different ways got me to start “thinking”.

dsmith71, thanks for your testing module, that really helped me out! I got to play with your die roller and when I got it to work I was finally getting it and liking what I saw.

So the gist of it is so far I can not get the symbolic die roller to work at all, no matter all the tests I put in. Based on your test, I decided to change my image files to avoid any confusion (on mine or the programs part) to using just ‘_’ (underlines):


Next using dsmith tester (see link above) I removed one of the faces in the properties and then was getting the results in the chat window I wanted. Great so now back to my project.

Tried the same setup with the symbolic die roll and no such luck or love no matter what I tried.

Switched over to a regular die roller and within seconds I had success.


So the regular die roller with a graphic image displays just fine in the chat window, but it appears that the symbolic die roller with a graphic image will not work and is bugged.

It definitely works and is not bugged. Here’s a de minimis example module. We just have to figure out why it’s not working for you.

Just to confirm, after renaming your die face images, those got inserted into the module, correct? Because the simplest explanation for that broken image indicator is that the image wasn’t found.

Thanks for the minimis example.

As far as I know they were, its a bit tricky sometimes, because if I unzip a module and then start playing with it, if I add new images it depends if they show up or not. Usually I make another separate folder and then bring the images into the module that way (I am a fairly newbie in module creation, I have messed and tinkered with VASSAL since the 90s, but learn more each time I dip my toes in).

Let me analyze the minimis you sent and try a few things over the next day or so and see what I come up with.

Probably something stupid on my end lol.

If you aren’t completely confident with this approach, you shouldn’t use it. Just use the facilities in the Editor for loading in new images when required.

I agree with Joel the Symbolic Die is not bugged I just prefer the dice button.

If you are not using 7-Zip already maybe it would be good idea. I use it to update image files and it works every time. I only have occasional trouble with large files (eg. Maps) not updating but that is solved by removing the module from Vassal…

…then, opening the Module again which forces Vassal to re-tile all the images.


Sorry not quite following you here. Which approach?

Essentially I have found two ways to work with VASSAL modules, 1) directly from the right mouse click in the main window (edit module) and 2) after you download a module unzip it and then you have access to the files it came with.

What I am saying is that sometimes if I unzip a module and start messing with it, I generally change the version number of the file and if I start modifying graphic files for example and just drag them into the folder it does not always seem to work correctly, hence I’ll make a working folder elsewhere and then inside of the editor I’ll just point to the new file. Once I have done that and saved my modifications and exit the editing process, I’ll delete that unzipped folder and again unzip the vmod file and poof the new images I just modified or added are now in the newly updated folder.

I do use 7-Zip and have no issues with unzipping things. What do you mean exactly by using 7zip to update image files?

I don’t understand that.

I use Paint.Net to update and create image files, since it has a nice layering tool for graphics, but 7zip is just a file compression and uncompress utility.

I think we are both seeing some of the limitations of the VASSAL engine. Its a great engine don’t get me wrong, I have been using it since the late 90s for ASL, but sometimes either it or java are a little squirrely.

Anyway, I need to take a look at the symbolic die example that Joel posted. I have 3 more Air HQ that are not behaving correct in this module I am tweaking (the other four work just fine when you flip the piece to increase and decrease the unit…) and then I have some units from an optional rule I need to add and then the thing should be complete.

Really enjoying this process of tweaking an existing module that someone else made and adding in refinements, it really helps to learn, much like the two example mods you both posted.

Much appreciated.

If you have an image which exists in the Module that you want to change, then no need to open the [Vassal] Editor at all. Open the Module with 7-Zip then drag and drop the new images into the image folder which will overwrite them provided the image(s) have the same file name as what they are replacing in the Module. 7-zip can also export the images from the Module so they can be edited [In, GIMP etc.]. Perhaps you already know this and I have misunderstood what you are doing with the files. It seems you are making progress so all the best to you.



I don’t understand why you are employing a process that isn’t working reliably all the time (bold added above). There has to be some misconception about what you need to do or a process error. Assuming you are rezipping things correctly, new images you put in this way can’t somehow not be there, so I’m curious about what you see that results in the conclusion that something hasn’t worked. Is it when you go back in the editor to modify a piece and the new version of an image you thought you’d put in isn’t in fact there? You aren’t trying to modify the module ZIP archive’s contents at the same time you have the module open in the Editor, are you? That’s guaranteed to wreak havoc.

So my comment about the approach relates to all of the above. If you are doing this and not seeing a 100% success rate, something is being done incorrectly at some step of the process. VASSAL engine limitations or Java quirks have no bearing on this. Opening a module as a ZIP archive just to put new or modified images into it isn’t the only way to do it, though it is considerably quicker when you want to bulk overwrite many images. An alternative would be to never do do zipping/unzipping (other than initial unzip to extract all the images) and rely on the in-Editor tools for loading in a new image file when required.


Interesting, I think I understand you now. When you say editor I am assuming you mean the VASSAL editor and not some paint program.

I totally understand the same file name concept. Again thanks for your help.

The process is only not working properly due to VASSAL it seems. I don’t really need to rezip anything as far as I know (I just tried a test where I unzipped a module, added a file to it, rezipped it up and then tried to double click it to launch it into VASSAL and that just does not work), so that is not any kind of reliable process I nor anyone can really follow.

What I do is this:

Download a module, put it into a folder (i.e., SPI), and then double click it, it then runs in VASSAL and I can play the game.

Now if I want to modified something, then I close the module (in play mode) and then right mouse click and click edit module. Make my changes and save and exit. Then relaunch the game from the VASSAL menu.

If I now want to modified graphics, then I unzip the module into its own folder somewhere (in this case lets all it /SPI/someModuleFolderHere and then I find the graphics I want to work with and open it up in Paint.Net and modified it and then save it back down. Normally this work fine. Then I save the module and exited the editing module process and relaunch the game. This normally also works okay.

Sometimes, when I make an edit to a graphics file for example, VASSAL and the module don’t always pick up those changes. So I have to re-edit the module and reselect the graphic image and then that normally works back in the game.

So its not really my process that is at fault its more or less VASSAL and the way it behaves fault for whatever reason.

Like I said, VASSAL is a great tool, and I have been using it for over 20 years, but its has some squirly and flaky issues like the above.

You’re doing it wrong, in that case. If you’d like to know in what way, put a module that fails like this somewhere we can download it so that we can examine it.

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This remains the part where I can’t fully track what you’re doing. Drag them into what folder? In an earlier post you said: “Usually I make another separate folder and then bring the images into the module that way”. Let’s drop all talk of unzipping and rezipping, that sounds like it’s not what you’re doing after all and is a sideshow.

What does “bring the images into the module” mean in concrete terms? Say you’ve extracted all images successfully. You’ve modified one to suit your needs. Lay out the exact set of steps you follow to get that modified image back into the module. The Editor does not support drag and drop, so it can’t be that. You’re dragging a modified image, that much is clear–where are you dropping it? What comes after that?

Maybe then I can begin to understand why you are sometimes not seeing your image changes reflected and find yourself needing to do something over. I’ve been doing this for years upon years and never once experienced this kind of problem.

So to bring images into a module I have used two different methods.

The first is probably the easiest, so I’ll start with that.

  1. Create a new map image (or anything really) file and save it anywhere on your system (c:/dons-work/my-art-mods).
  2. Edit the module in question and add a new map (or piece or whatever) and set the properties to use that new map image created in step one.
  3. Save the module.
  4. Exit the module.
  5. Launch the module.

All is good.

Second way.

  1. Download a module from VASSAL.
  2. Move it to wherever (c:/vassal-modules/spi).
  3. Unzip the *.vmod file which unpacks everything into a folder.
  4. Navigate into that folder and find the file you want to modify.
  5. Modify the file.
  6. Launch the module in play mode.

Sometimes that works and the work you did is reflected. Sometimes that does not work and you have to do the following:

  1. Copy the file in question (that did not show up as you expected with the changes to someplace else (c:/dons-work/my-art-mods).
  2. Modify the file (if you have not already done this).
  3. Edit the module change the property that uses the newly modified changes.
  4. Save the moduled.
  5. Exit editing mode.
  6. Launch the module.

Usually this solves the issue.

Sometimes (here comes the squirly-ness of VASSAL), although this is not consistent. You can when you do the second way after failing step 6, make sure that your changed image file is in fact there, which it usually is and then re-edit the module and reset the property to use the same image it used to use and whala it now works.

So in my experience VASSAL has some weirdness in it, it is not 100% the same every time, its more like 95.9% and its that 4.1% that makes you double work to get things right.

We can’t diagnose what’s going wrong without seeing a module where it has. Please make such a module available.