Equipment can have various race variants: Dwarven, Elven, Orcish, or Demonic.
Dwarves do slightly more damage with dwarven weapons. Dwarven weapons also have a 50% chance each of getting +1 to hit and to damage.
Dwarven armour provides better protection when worn by any species, though its added weight impedes spellcasting more than usual. Dwarves are protected even further, and they do not receive the additional spellcasting penalty.
In addition, all dwarven equipment is more resistant to corrosion than normal, providing an innate 80% chance to resist corrosion on top of any enchantment bonuses.
Elven weapons are more accurate when wielded by elves. They also have a better chance of starting with up to +2 to-hit enchantment.
Elven armour is lighter than usual, so it impedes spellcasting less than other types of armour when worn by any species. Elven cloaks and boots also grant a small bonus to stealth. Elven armour also grants increased protection when worn by elves.
Orcish weapons give damage bonuses to hill orcs who wield them, which is increased even further for followers of Beogh (damage bonus increases with piety). They have a 50% chance of getting -1 to hit, and a 50% chance of getting +1 to damage.
Orcish armour grants better protection and reduced spell failure, but only when worn by hill orcs. Followers of Beogh get even more AC, depending on their piety.
The only types of demonic equipment are weapons: demon blades, demon tridents, and demon whips. They are not true variants, but are instead their own types of weapon, all of which are among the best weapons available. Demonspawn deal slightly more damage with demonic weaponry.
Racial variants were removed in 0.14.