My summer physics class is going along much more easily than I'd dreaded that it would. It's the sort of class where attendance isn't taken and homework isn't collected: the grade depends entirely on exam results. As it turns out, that's precisely the sort of class I'm best at dealing with. Left to my own recognizance, I can learn just fine, but I tend to do poorly with too much over-the-shoulder supervision. There are only two weeks left in this class, a test this Friday and a test next Friday, and I'm confident now that I'll ace both of 'em. So that's nice.
My campaign is also coming along quite swimmingly these days, as you can probably tell from all the game-session summaries below. All of the player characters are now up to 5th(!!!) level as of the end of the last session, and as we all know, 5th level is D&D's sweet spot. From now until the time when the PCs reach 9th level, this is when the game is at peak fun for both the referee and the players. (Below 5th level, the game is more fun for the referee; above 8th level, more fun for the players.)
Now, previously, when I've run my Shade Isle campaign, I've peppered the overworld with classic B- and X- series dungeons for the players to explore. (Namely: the Caverns of Quasqueton, the Caves of Chaos, Princess Argenta's Palace, the Lost City of Cynidicea, and Château d'Amberville.) But this time around, I have at least one fellow veteran of the old ways playing in my campaign, so I can't exactly do that now. But that's just given me motivation enough to finally do what I'd intended to do all along, and come up with my own unique mini-dungeons for the island's other locations. They were all mapped weeks ago, but now I'm finally most of the way through the hard work of stocking and keying them.
I've learned from this experience that I'm definitely firmly within the "whimsical funhouse / riddles and puzzles / mythic underworld" school of dungeon design, and not the "logical, sensible, Gygaxian naturalism" school. I think this is a good thing.
On the downside, I seem to have come down with a cold following yesterday's game-session, which sucks. It means that I've missed out on my first real chance to play some 5th edition D&D (with the above-mentioned fellow veteran refereeing) since I ran Keep on the Borderlands for my old group way back during the playtest. Bugger, bother, and blast these bacterial bugs...