Rampant Games - Returning to Base
In his latest RPG design musings, Jay Barnson looks at the "home base" concept:
Many computer role-playing games (CRPGs) have a concept of a “home base” for the player – a safe location to return to in order to rest, heal, trade, advance, acquire and complete quests, and so forth. The actual location may change as the game advances, but these safe spots (which may literally be “save spots” in games with limited save points) get returned to again and again by PCs.
While not universal (especially in modern CRPG design), I’m hard-pressed to think of another genre that commonly features this kind of mechanic.