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I'd be happy to help! If you've already checked Skyrim and Oblivion, I can't advise much in the way of Western RPGs, and I'm fresh out of ideas for modern RPGs too. If you don't mind some older JRPGs, I can think of two:
Radiata Stories for PS2: Funny, easy to pick up and play, lots of content; Very underrated Square game.
Skies of Arcadia Legends for GCN: My favorite game of all time, bar none. Check my user page for an in-depth review.
I'm on the lookout for new games myself, so unfortunately I can't be much more helpful than that. You could check my ratings and reviews for ideas.
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Dragon's Dogma and Xenoblade Chronicles are both fantastic RPG's. Xeno provides hours upon hours of gameplay, sidequests (a ton of sidequests), content, a huge world to explore, great voice acting, and an awesome story/cast. DD is like if Dark Souls and Dragon Age had a baby. Awesome combat system (jumping atop a chimera and slashing at its head or setting it's wings on fire with a well-aimed arrow never gets old) and a world as big as Skyrim's.
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Possibly some of the older Might and Magic's or the Ultima's ...with Lord British and the Avatar might fill the bill till that dream...RPG you described, comes along...
You might need to keep notes, draw your own maps, but there's something about keeping your own journal with spells/combinations/notes and maps. It draws you into the game in a different way than newer games that do it all with the click of a mouse.
Some of the older DOS games might fill the bill. A lot of them were the foundations for today's games. Of course, you'll pay for that involvement with very old graphic's/gameplay. But, they're still great games..
GOG has a good selection and a DOS download so you can play them. No issues with Vista or XP.
Eye of the Beholder.. Black Gate... World of Xeen... Mandate of Heaven
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