Dwarves or dwarfs are a race of humanoids in many fantasy settings. They tend to be shorter, stockier and hardier than humans, inspired by their appearance in J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth (from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings), which were themselves inspired by the dwarfs of Germanic mythology and folklore.
Dwarves are a common race for player characters in role-playing games, having been used in Dungeons & Dragons and its predecessor Chainmail since the early 1970s. They were used as a class in the earliest editions of Dungeons & Dragons, starting with original Dungeons & Dragons in 1974, before being made one of the standard optional playable races in Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.