Have been switching back and forth between:
Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones (2019)
A surprisingly good RPG based on Lovecraft's writings. It reminds me most of Fallout in that you create just a single character (with your choices during character creation determining how you solve quests) and are joined throughout the game by fixed characters. Unlike Fallout though, you have complete control over any characters in your party whether inside or outside combat.
It seems that the game is actually quite linear in that there are certain quests that need to be done in order to get to the end. However, there is some leeway and you often have two or three leads to follow at any time. I don't think a different character build would really affect the story in any way, although it would probably allow you to solve quests in different ways. One thing that really impressed me is that you are asked to choose a sort of personal philosophy when making your character, and acting in line with that philosophy earns you small sanity point awards.
Speaking of sanity points, the game almost feels like a "survival horror" RPG, at least initially. Character health is tracked on four levels: health, sanity, fatigue, and addiction... and maintaining a healthy group of characters can get very expensive. I'm told that this only lasts for the first part of the game where currency is hard to come by, but it's a fun system that results in a downward spiral if you don't keep up on it.
Overall, I'm enjoying it. It's apparently not a terribly long game, with people claiming to complete it in 15-20 hours or so.
The Magic Candle (1989)
This is a series I've always been interested in from ads back in Computer Gaming World back in the day, but never got around to playing until now.
The Magic Candle is a massive and complicated RPG with party-based turn-based combat played from an overhead perspective. The game begins with you interviewing and selecting five companions from a pool of a dozen or so. It reminded me a bit of Dungeon Master.
From there, you are basically thrown into a massive world with a few leads but nothing really stopping you from doing what you want. The game does has a time limit but it is apparently VERY generous and can even be extended if needed. Much of the game so far is spent gathering information in towns using a conversation system very similar to that in the Ultima games; you will definitely want to play this with notebook in hand.
Perhaps the most unique aspect of the game is how you can split your party up. I thought this would be a gimmick, but it's crucial for time management and mostly done in towns. The typical scenario would be to split off your high charisma character on his own to explore the town and gather information, split off any characters who have learned a trade (metalworking, gem cutting, etc.) to go earn money, and have the rest train at academies or sit in the inn memorizing spells. It's a bit clunky at first but you soon get used to it and it really makes visiting towns a lot of fun.
It's a massive game and I've just scratched the surface, but I am really enjoying it so far. It's too bad this series is not so well-known.