A campaign is a series of Dungeons & Dragons adventures or game sessions which follow on consecutively from one another.
The word campaign is sometimes used as an abbreviation for campaign setting, which is the world in which a campaign may take place.
The term "campaign" first appeared the original Dungeons & Dragons in 1974. The word appeared in the full title of the original D&D game, "Dungeons & Dragons: Rules for Fantastic Medieval Wargames Campaigns Playable with Paper and Pencil and Miniature Figures".
The word "campaign" dates back to the wargaming hobby which inspired D&D, originally referring to real-world "campaigns" of warfare carried out by historical medieval and ancient armies.
Men & Magic (1974) describes that Dungeons & Dragons was originally written with long-term campaign play in mind:
- "While it is possible to play a single game, unrelated to any other game events past or future, it is the campaign for which these rules are designed. It is relatively simple to set up a fantasy campaign, and better still, it will cost almost nothing."