While still being "kind of" heroic, The Dark Eye has a different approach to dungeons than most other high-fantasy systems I know. It's generally more leaning to realism than to fantasy and challenges are very easily adapted by either changing the generation points (GP) which are used to create the character and its abilities and attributes, or by using the same rules which govern PC creation for NPC generation.
Now, in TDE there are only a hand full of different dungeons, which is either mines, sewers or some large building, for example a castle. There is very little in terms of mundane or magic traps and is generally discouraged unless the trap could be realistically built with little more than medieval knowledge and a proper justification for the trap to be there. This is simply because paying engineers to build contraptions like that is really expensive.
At the same time, while combat can sometimes drag out a bit, as soon as a hit has been scored, it really hurts, depending on the additional rules used. A single hit from a sword can seriously impair a characters ability to act.
Magic, while powerful, is a scarce resource, and casters can be quite vulnerable, especially since magic is impaired by wearing anything made of iron, and casting can take quite some time ( or is difficult).
This means that most, or many, dungeons in TDE tend to be more of the exploration side, gathering intel, interacting with each other.
In the short time I had the opportunity to GM a TDE4.1 game for my players, my players always acted very careful and, discouraged by lack of military grade equipment and the advantages granted by the system to the outnumbering faction, tried to talk it out rather than risk getting stabbed.
TDE also has integrated "support" for non-heroic characters from the beginning. Why not play a Hunter that is on adventure with his friends, the smith, the farmer and the maid. These characters still are "heroic". It is a game about heroes after all. But not in the same sense as them being heroes in a more comic-y way.
What I learnt from TDE for this kind of playstile is this:
- Use what makes sense in your world
- Make combat meaningful - Don't throw enemy after enemy at them
- Use traps only where it's actually useful, possibly making the act to disarm it a puzzle
- Use planning as a game mechanic. If your players are going to explore some cave system, let them plan it out first. What do you want to take with you? No food, no water? No medicine? Who is carrying all that stuff?
- Where did they get that equipment from? Why would a weapons smith sell a sword to a commoner? (In TDE, commoners don't exactly have the right to carry a weapon in many regions)
- Make time a factor, if applicable. Is the owner coming back soon? Do you really want to be there when he arrives?
- Is it really a good idea to go into that icy-cold water, when you dont have a way to dry afterwards? Use the environment as a challenge.
- Show the players, or better, let them experience, how superior their enemy is, and present them with opportunities to create advantages that help them achieve victory. Or in other words (as always): Make it meaningful.