A dwarf is especially easy to find in the Gnomish Mines, and often carries a pick-axe or a dwarvish mattock. With their Weapon 1d8 damage, they can inflict a significant amount of damage to an early player. However, due to their slow speed, they can usually be outrun. Neutral and chaotic adventurers can quickly get a pick-axe by killing a dwarf, but they are often peaceful to lawful adventurers. Nonetheless, lawful adventurers often choose to kill dwarves for their equipment anyway, as the equipment can be very useful in the early game and the penalty for attacking a peaceful monster is quite small. Dwarves tunnel with their picks, often digging out large portions of the level and provoking shopkeepers to close up their shop walls when a dwarf digs through.
A dwarf sometimes wears a dwarvish mithril-coat, a dwarvish iron helm, a dwarvish roundshield, or iron shoes, all of which are good armor types. The dwarvish cloak offers no AC protection, but does provide MC1, and can protect the body armor underneath it from erosion. The probability of mithril is 1/12.  A dwarf wearing mithril can be quite difficult for many early game characters to hit.