Been following Grrl Power since something like week 3, and I have to say that it's one of the few web comics that actually gets me to laugh. My only question is this: where did sydney put the skill point?
Cliff-hangers may be involved. The artist cannot accept any responsibility for medical conditions developing from or being aggravated by geek frustration or excessive laughter. Monitor splatter and equipment damage from similar causes are at the reader's own risk.
So I want to say that I have been reading for about a year now, love every bit of Grrl Power, and eagerly await each new page. I am saving a copy of this to make notes upon to try and figure out what it all does. Keep being awesome.
Orbs have skills/attributes, with ranks, shown as single lined connections with multiple dots, emanating outwards from that orb. Orbs have synergies, shown as a double lined connection between to orbs with a single dot at the halfway point. Each pair of orbs has a synergy. Orbs also have feats, shown as double lined connections emanation outwards from the globe, to a single point. Orbs also have specialisation, shown as a seven part circle in the centre, with one dot for every orb.
From there I speculate: Points can be spent to light up dots, and will unlock the relevant skill(attribute)/synergy/feat. Disabled parts are grey, and no points can be spent on these at the moment. Skills/attributes unlock some ability of the orbs at first rank, and then that ability can be increased by spending points to light up subsequent dots. Feats unlock some (maybe passive) additional bonus, to what the orb already does. Some high ranks in a skill/attribute unlock minor feats for that skill/attribute at the highest rank (doubly connected dots at the end of the skill's line of dots) Grey lines that trail off may reference parts of the tree that will only become available at a later time. They are not shown, since they depend on real-life experiences instead of skills/attributes and points, and may be influenced by alignment modifiers, or what passes for that in this setting. The unusually shaped skill/attribute for the power-beam-thingamajig orb references splash/AoE radius. The other attribute is probably its power. The highest level skill/attribute of the shield is probably something related to its stopping power. The other attribute may have been maximum size, but there are so many runes on this orb, that it would be stupid that only one of them was upgradeable, so I guess it's more general than that. The shield has two grey skill/attribute lines that are locked. It seems one of them unlocks once stopping power is maximised, but shows this in an unusual way. It needed only be linked to the very last dot in the line, but it is linked to every dot in the line. This may be significant. It seems the shield and the beam weapon orbs have an unlocked synergy. Does this mean Sydney can fire the beam weapon trough the shield from the inside? It could also mean that wielding these orbs together gives more powerful results than wielding them separately. This is supported by the fact that only two orbs can be wielded at any time, and normal synergies could have applied to working with more than two orbs in succession, but the skill tree only allows pairwise synergy. The central dot that's made of seven parts, may grant an additional bonus after all seven specialisations have been unlocked. The flight orb has multiple skills/attributes, but only one is leveled-up. Does this mean it is more of a “mobility orb” and can grant other mobility related skills or some other flying related attributes? The green orb has it's feat unlocked, but we don't know what it does yet. The green and red orbs both have two skills/attributes, but we haven't got a clue what they mean. One of the green and red orbs could be a meta-level, increasing the level of the skill tree, and make it more complex and interesting, but I think that's too meta for this story. The highest skill/attribute on the yellow “illusion” orb is probably true-sight, and it can still get stronger. Maybe at the highest rank it will allow projected Sydney to use true-sight. The projected Sydney can be improved as well. Maybe those ranks will add tangibility, or modifiability to the projection. The “illusion” orb has a third skill/attribute, that branches at rank 1 into another skill/attribute. Maybe it can work together with other skills to camouflage or hide them. The tentaclorb has attributes that probably relate to strenght, maximum lenghth, flexibility, size/scalability etc. of the pseudopod.
There's probably more sensible data to derive from this. BTW: I posted this on the other wallpaper too, in case people only look at one of them. Feel free to delete either of these posts, if you think them too spammy.