Caves of Shadow is one of the fast play free games that were released by Wizards of the Coast to introduce gamers to the various offerings they had. This one was written by Monte Cook and was released in 2000. This one comes in at sixteen pages. The module is sometimes listed as a 3e fast play or a d20 fast play. I am not sure myself which it was so if anyone knows please feel free to chime in!
The system detailed in this product is a very simple one and would in no way mimic anything used in a retail product. It seems to be more of an introduction to role playing more than an introduction to a system. This would be a nice product to use for children regardless of the system they would eventually be playing.
The book has a simple seven encounter scenario involving amazingly enough a cave system. The product is about as DM friendly as it can be covering almost any action the DM might reasonably expect the players to take. It even discusses how to handle an rather dastardly action the players might chose to take early on. I really hope it does not happen often since this seems to be geared towards children.
The book also has some premade characters that the players can use. This will limit the number of players to four unless the DM copies the players and renames them. Each of the four core classes are represented as are three races (not sure why the doubled up on humans).
The four characters used will be familiar to any who have used any fairly recent WotC game. There is Redgar who is a human fighter. The next character is Mialee who is an elf wizard. The third character is our second human. They are Jozan who is a human cleric and finally there is Lidda the halfling rogue.
Each of the half page characters sheets begins with a large picture of the character. Next it describes first who the characters is and a little on their motivations or expected behavior. The sheet then describes the role they will most likely need to perform in an adventuring party. The sheet then describes actions they might perform in the course of the adventure. One the back is information on damage they do, their armor class, the hit points they have (nice mark off bubbles make it easy for kids to use), then spell if appropriate and finally strategy. Lidda has a special section on Sneak Attack since she is a rogue.
The module is one that I would use if I were to introduce a younger person (child) into role playing. It is generic enough to make it simple to use and not teach them a mechanic that they would never use again. The module is also still available for download from the WotC site so it can be downloaded and printed as needed.
Duration: 24 Hours
Ares Effect: Special
Casting Time: 1 Segment
Saving Throw: Special
This cantrip will allow the magic user to specify a time when the recipient will be awakened if asleep. The spell will have no effect on individuals if they are awake when cast.
The spell will by default affect one person which the caster may select. The spell can then affect one additional person for every level the caster has over one. The time specified must be within 24 hours from the time cast. The time specified for each individual may differ.
The saving throw for this spell is required by all recipients even if they are willing recipients. The saving throw actually is made at the specified time the recipient is to awaken. They are required to make a saving throw versus spells as +4 with an additional +1 per point of wisdom over 14. Those who fail have decided to sleep in. A DM may add other bonuses or minuses to the save based on the situation and condition of the recipient.
Disclaimer: The spells that you will see, for how ever long the write ups last, were all written up or conceived of back in the 80's so the terminology may not appropriate for anything other than 1e and depending on how well I did back then it may be slightly off for that as well. If there is any duplication of spells that exist now it is most likely I wrote mine first :) Please feel free to comment on them but try not to be too hard on me. If anyone wishes to use these in anything they print please let me know in advance and all I ask is proper credit.