I'm down to one missing object in the patch I'm trying to get to work... thanks to the help I've had here and reading 'all the things' again and again.
I'm missing one final object that operates only on messages (so no ~) Has one inlet and an outlet.
I've searched in 'all the places' including the docs for pd extended but can't find it.
I can guess its function might be to take a bang at the inlet and count from 0 - n-1 outputting the number at each step as fast as possible. Not sure if the bang has to be pressed n times before resetting or if sending bang causes the counter to just increment on its own after a single event.
So I will implement this myself if I can't find it and see if this does the trick. But if anyone has seen this or knows if my guess at its function is then please let me know. It seems that counting up to a number when receiving a bang is so basic a concept it should exist already in a library so I'll look around first.