An excerpt from the Dramatically Violent Skills Series
Part 2: The Thief
Skill 1: Steal
Skill 2: Rapidstab
Skill 3: Backstab
Functions which are provided as a proof of concept in livening up an otherwise boring skills system.
Take from them what inspiration you can. A skill doesn't just have to be A damages B for 1000000.
Skills can have graphic messages with distinct coloring and font styles (use the latter sparingly, that means you DBZ muds)
Skills can also imply effects other than damage, but why just imply? Make people bleed. Bruise them, break things, set them on fire.
Be dramatic and combat can take on a level of detail that people will find engaging.