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?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I will be honest that I have no idea what this is about, but shouldn't this have the tag dungeons-and-dragons? (Or even the specific edition it was played?) \$\endgroup\$
    – HellSaint
    Commented Jul 21, 2020 at 7:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ forum.rpg.net/index.php?threads/… Has some hints \$\endgroup\$
    – Quentin
    Commented Jul 21, 2020 at 7:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HellSaint The question isn't game specific, but about a historical way of playing games. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 21, 2020 at 16:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @indigochild I'm sure it's not system specific in the sense it doesn't require expertise on the rules of the game, but it is about the historical way of playing a specific game. Either way your call. \$\endgroup\$
    – HellSaint
    Commented Jul 21, 2020 at 17:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Already asked rpg.stackexchange.com/q/132882/11451 \$\endgroup\$
    – NickNo
    Commented Jul 21, 2020 at 22:26


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