What is a Military Leadership Campaign?

A military leadership campaign in the Dungeons & Dragons TTRPG and the Forgotten Realms differs from heroic fantasy by focusing on the leader of a fighting force and their troops. There is some overlap with a rulership campaign with more emphasis on military activities than on administration of a frontier settlement. Some adventurers seek treasure, fame, or arcane knowledge, by plundering tombs or slaying dragons, others are drawn to the clash of steel and the roar of battle. These are the military leaders—the tacticians, generals, and warlords—who wield their influence not through diplomacy, but through the might of their armies.

Fighting for the sake of fighting may give meaning to some adventurers, but the military leader seeks to defend something of great personal value. Are you defending your homeland from outside invaders? Is your patron a religious institution that you seek to defend from heretics and opposed face? Are you a knight who has sworn an oath to principles larger than yourself? Is money your only motivator and you sell your sword to the highest bidder? Is the best defense a good offense where you preemptively attack your neighbors or is deterrence the best policy? These are questions you should ask yourself when embarking upon the life of a professional military leader.

Next you should consider where you will be a military leader? You may not travel far if you are defending a homeland. If you are a mercenary for hire you may travel across the continent or the world. Are you a conqueror? You may travel to wealthy areas that are poorly defended and make what is theirs yours.

The military leadership campaign is not a traditional dungeon crawl. The would be commander must decide what type of military leader they wish to be before embarking on their journey. In future posts we will examine more in the life of a military leader.