The January 1984 edition of Dragon advertised the "SILVERDAWN Quest Tournament". The ad features a $ 5,000 cash prize. In a previous question I was introduced to the mechanics of play-by-mail games from the period, as well as how D&D tournaments of the time were being judged.
How were these play by mail tournaments being judged?
It seems unlikely that these play-by-mail "quest tournaments" worked like in-person D&D tournaments did. For one thing, D&D tournaments featured teams competing against each other. The SILVERDAWN ad seems to solicit individual participants and doesn’t mention teams. Second, the ad is pretty clear that this is some kind of quest, not just a dungeon crawl. Finally, my impression is the mechanics of play-by-mail mean that the same kind of tactical dungeon crawl competition would be less likely, but I’m not sure.
I’ve tried searching online for information about the SILVERDAWN competition, but the search was confounded by a World of Warcraft quest by the same name.
How were play by mail games played in the 1980s?
How were Dungeons and Dragons tournaments judged?