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Dice notation tools

Project description

This notation is widely used on tabletop games, such as wargames or RPGs, and was created on the late 70s for Dungeons & Dragons, as a way to allow generating random values in specific distributions.

With the pass of years it has evolved, and while it never underwent a formal standarization process a core set of rules is kept among all the variations, mostly representing dice in a format such as ‘1d6’, and the use of algebra operations like addition and subtraction.

This project aims to give support to the dice notation, allowing parsing and operating with it on any Python application.

Dice Notation Tools for Python Pypi package page Dice Notation Tools for Python latest documentation Dice Notation Tools for Python development documentation


  • ANTLR-based parser generates objects from dice notation (BNF grammar included)
  • Easy-to-use model, just call the ‘roll’ method
  • Classes to support plain dice


Documentation sources are included with the project, and used to generate the documentation sites:

  • The latest docs are always generated for the latest release, kept in the ‘master’ branch
  • The development docs are generated from the latest code in the ‘develop’ branch

The source files for the docs, a small Sphinx project, are kept in the ‘docs folder.

These can be built if needed:

python build_docs


The project has been tested in the following versions of the interpreter:

  • Python 3.6
  • Python 3.7
  • Python 3.8

All other dependencies are indicated on the requirements.txt file.

These can be installed with:

pip install --upgrade -r requirements.txt

Building the grammar

First of all install ANTLR as told here.

Afterwards, follow these indications.

The command to generate the parser will be:

antlr4 -Dlanguage=Python2 DiceNotation.g4 DiceNotationLexer.g4


The project is offered as a Pypi package, and using pip is the preferred way to install it. For this use the following command;

pip install dice-notation

If needed, manual installation is possible:

python install


The application has been coded in Python, and does not require any particular framework.

To use it just import the parser:

from dice_notation.parser import DiceParser

And then use it to parse a dice notation expression:

parser = DiceParser()
dice = parser.parse('1d6+2')

The result can be accessed just by calling the ‘value’ method as many times as needed, which will generate a new random value each time it is called:



The tests included with the project can be run with:

python test

This will delegate the execution to tox.

It is possible to run just one of the test profiles, in this case the py36 profile:

python test -p "py38"


Any kind of help with the project will be well received, and there are two main ways to give such help:

  • Reporting errors and asking for extensions through the issues management
  • or forking the repository and extending the project

Issues management

Issues are managed at the GitHub project issues tracker, where any Github user may report bugs or ask for new features.

Getting the code

If you wish to fork or modify the code, visit the GitHub project page, where the latest versions are always kept. Check the ‘master’ branch for the latest release, and the ‘develop’ for the current, and stable, development version.


The project has been released under the MIT License.

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