It’s clear to me that Tolkien didn’t know what to do with female dwarves. Somewhere (in the silmarillon) he wrote:
no Man nor Elf has ever seen a beardless Dwarf – unless he were shaven in mockery, and would then be more like to die of shame… For the Naugrim have beards from the beginning of their lives, male and female alike…
It’s the beards!
They have beards and moreover they never get out of their mountains. Could it be more lame?
But wait, is it better to hide them or portray them (even without a beard)?
Hell, maybe Tolkien was right, lets keep them out of sight.
No, better yet, they don’t need to exist at all. I mean, dwarves are all about exacerbated manliness (both physical and emotional), no? There never was any place for female dwarves in fantasy, if you think about it.
So no females. But then, how dwarves reproduce, hmm?
Yep, that’s my answer. They duplicate…
This whole weird process is somehow linked with a cycle of solar eclipses that occurs each 22 years. Near this time, some dwarves (about 10%) will feel heavier (because they are) and weary. When it happens, the few minutes that the solar eclipse last is all it takes for a new, identical dwarf to pop out of the first.
Just like that:
It’s a known fact, there’s 88 Ancestors from which all the others are copies. How they came to be, these “originals”, many conflicting stories exist but no one knows for sure.
Bob, no longer
Even for those who share the same lineage (born genetically the same), that doesn’t mean that they will act alike. In fact, most dwarves go to great pain to differentiate themselves, according great importance to how they looks: dyed beard, special hairstyle, specific clothes and jewels and so on.
Dwarves as character race (SiT)
Ability score modifiers: +1 str, +2 con, +1 wis
Obsydian Sword proficiency
A Barrel On Two Legs: Base speed is 25′. In addition, dwarves have advantage on Strength (athletics) checks to resist being shoved/overrunned/grappled (unless opponent is also a dwarf).