5e Supplement Review: The Dab
Like many of you, I’ve been wondering where dat boi went after all these years. Unsurprisingly, Willy Abeel knew exactly where that good froggy boi went.
The Dab is Willy’s latest creation. It’s a packed-to-the-brim supplement that boasts new feats, new land vehicles, new subclasses, and of course a new race birthed from the dankest frog memes on the net.
Yet true to form, it’s all fantastic. It’s well-balanced, and while hilarious and chock-full of shitposting, it takes itself seriously enough that it can be slotted into any campaign.
You can grab The Dab (I’m not sorry) on the DM’s Guild for the affordable price of $4.99!
If that hasn’t sold you, keep reading. The Dab will nab you yet (still not sorry)!
This entire supplement was so easy to read thanks to its formatting. It’s easy to read, easily searchable, yet still has a stylized identity that coincides with the 5e standard.
Also, those unicycle-riding frogs accenting the boxed text are just chef’s kiss.
It’s tightly edited by Leon Barillaro. There are plenty of mechanics that push the boundaries of 5e in this supplement, but I never felt intimidated by their descriptions. The writing and editing is fantastic!
Almost every page in this supplement contains a piece of artwork. All of which pair great with the watercolor illustrations that accent the pages.
Each piece of art focuses on various dabs, showcasing the varying shapes, sizes, and forms they take. It also works as a great visual storytelling method for fleshing out the dab to the reader.
Each piece shows off something in the supplement: dab features, dab society/culture, dab technology, or subclass mechanics.
All of the artwork is fantastic, but I think the bubble knight on the last page is my favorite. It fits the feeling of the supplement so well!
A common theme throughout this supplement, and dab society, is movement. Every section of The Dab contains some form of movement enhancement or new ways to leverage movement in 5e
Positioning is huge in tactical combat in 5e. I can see plenty of the content in The Dab making combat much more dynamic due to the variety of movement options it introduces.
A New Race: The Dab
Dabs, understandably, the flagship of this supplement. They’re a people that just cannot stop moving.
They’re great adventurers due to their inquisitive nature, but they’re also widely regarded as tinkerers. They love to create or modify things to help them move faster.
There’s a whole page and a half that introduces and fleshes out dab society and culture. It’s a great read and even contains a section about how their humor is literally memeing. The lore is a hilarious read, but it uses comedy to showcase an intelligent, driven, and chaotic group of people.
Mechanically, dabs are super interesting. They’re medium creatures, but they move at a base speed of a small race, however, to combat this they also have a swim speed.
They can use their strong tongue to push, pull, lift, or hold things or even wield light weapons. Plus, they even have a feature that uses their frog-like legs to jump around the battlefield.
Racial Variants: Toad-Like and Tiny Dabs
There are two variants to the dab: toad-like and tiny.
The toad-like dab swaps out the dab’s tongue abilities with poisonous sweat. Creatures that contact your skin or drink your sweat have a chance of hallucinating for a short time. This hallucination warps their perception of the landscape and halves their Passive perception for the duration.
While this is a simple mechanic, I haven’t seen a lot of mechanics that interact with Passive perception this way. I think it’s smart. It’s easy to understand, simple, yet effective.
The tiny dab is, as the name implies, a Tiny-sized dab. Think of it as the dab, but physically weaker, but more nimble. They can duck in and out of other creatures’ space with easy, gaining AC based on their positioning.
Dab (and Grung!) Feats
There are five racial half-feats included in this supplement, all of which the dab can take when they gain an ASI. Out of the five, there are two that grung characters can also take as well as one that a character with a prehensile tongue can also take, and one that anyone that comes from a dab society can also take.
Four of these feats expand upon the dab’s biological capabilities. This includes gaining climbing speed, breathing underwater, improving tongue strength, or being able to flip their stomachs inside out and smack a creature with it.
The last feat allows a character to spend a while tinkering on a vehicle to double its speed when you operate it.
The feats are simple, yet fun. Each gives a character a new niche ability which, when called upon is really useful. Plus, they give +1 to an ability score for when you aren’t in that niche situation!
Land Vehicles a Plenty
The Dab contains five new land vehicles created by the dab. From wheeled boots to an automated carriage and everything in between.
Each vehicle comes with a cost associated with it, the better the vehicle, the more expensive it is. The price ranges between an affordable(ish) 30 gp to upwards of 1000 gp. There’s an option for parties at every tier of play due to the flexible prices.
Admittedly, land vehicles don’t come up often in my campaigns. However, this section has piqued my interest. I’ll definitely be throwing some of these into my future games when we go back to playing a homebrew campaign!
Two New Subclasses
It’s a tall order to top the pure meme magic that was the College of Culinary Bard from The Book of House, yet somehow the two subclasses in here are spicy.
Both of these subclasses focus on movement. Albeit in different ways.
Speed Demon Barbarian
The speed demon barbarian is the perfect choice for people who gotta go fast.
The entire subclass is based on movement. These barbarians move significantly faster than their peers and move so fast that they can plow through their enemies.
Their love of movement is so great that they can even take their party members along for a ride with them when they move on their turn, or move when a party member move.
Positioning is one of my favorite parts of tactical combat so this subclass really speaks to me. You have so many great tools to position or disrupt enemy positioning with. It’s great.
This subclass fits in beautifully with the 5e barbarian as well. A rampaging behemoth plowing through their enemies is peak barbarian flavor.
Bubble Knight Fighter
While the speed demon is a bit simpler mechanically-speaking, the bubble knight pushes the envelope with its new bubble mechanics.
The bubble knight is a subclass that uses bubbles as obstacles and launch pads that they and other creatures can bounce off of for free movement. Eventually, the bubble knight can create bubbles to protect and move allies or constrain enemies.
This subclass is oozing with battlefield control and unique movement abilities. The bubble mechanics reward creativity and strategy.
Good bubble placement protects the party while giving them additional movement options. Bad bubble placement gives the enemies a new way to jump on the party’s wizard.
All in all, it’s kind of a wacky version of an eldritch knight that focuses on movement and battlefield control.
The Final Dab
The Dab is well worth the price of admission. It has so much flavor and many unique character options. $4.99 is a steal!
Dabs are both pure meme energy and a really interesting race that can will themselves into existence in your campaign setting. Their lore is awesome, but their mechanics inspired. Plus, they come with a bunch of new feats to make them even more interesting!
I can’t get enough of the path of the speed demon barbarian. The bubble knight is great too, but I just love the flavor and mechanics of the speed demon so much. I want to barrel through a horde of creatures with my allies steamrolling behind me.
The Dab is a love letter to movement in 5e and it nails every note flawlessly. Well, that and frogs.
omG, best review for the DAB i have gone through so far, each and every little feature is well explained thanks for this great information.