As I see it, the small world problem is the observation that RPGs often have small worlds with few towns and cities. This results in countries essentially being city-states. Now, here's my issue. In trying to counter this, I've made an effort to create, in the lore of the world for Valiance, countries that have that main capital city, whilst also having a few towns. However, this has problems of its own, as going too far in this direction can result in a "quantity over quality" situation. In my heart, I'm sure that less is more, but I worry that having (nearly) every country be a city-state is one way less to distinguish between them. So, the solution is surely some middle ground. For example, instead of having 5 city-states, have 2 city-states and 3 countries with a capital city and just a couple of towns. My questions are... 1). Does this middle ground seem like the best solution? 2). Do you agree that having countries that seem to consist of a single city can seem a bit samey? Or perhaps there are so many other ways to distinguish between countries, that whether or not they only consist of a single city doesn't matter.