Tales of Tolgard
Light shields are often used by fighters and warrior types because they allow a great deal of flexibility in battle. They offer more protection than bucklers but less than the larger heavy shields and tower shields. They are also the smallest shield that allows shield bashing.
The adventurer puts their arm through a strap and usually also holds onto a handle beyond the strap. It is possible, however, to hold something in this hand, but not a weapon. Since the shield is fairly light, it can easily be used as an off-hand weapon without much difficulty.
Light shields generally come in two varieties- the basic wooden model and the heavier metal one, usually made from steel to keep the weight down. Other than the weight, they pretty much defend a warrior equally well. The only issue that might arise would concern spells that affect wood and metal differently, or possibly some armor material limitations that druids and some clerics face.
Here we see a typical small shield of bovetin design.