A player has several options while in combat. They are as follows:
Melee- Inflicts damage on the monster, based upon strength. Also decreases the monster's strength some.
Skirmish- Inflicts a little less damage than melee, but decreases the monster's quickness instead.
Spell- Cast combat spells.
Nick- If the player has a sword, hits the monster one plus the player's sword, and gives the player 10% of the monster's experience. Decreases the monster's experience an amount proportional to the amount granted. This also increases the monster's quickness. Paralyzed monsters wake up very quickly when nicked.
Rest- Fighting for too long makes a character fatigued and lose speed. Rest to restore speed and energy. However, monsters will get a free attack while you are doing so.
Luckout- This is essentially a battle of wits with the monster. Success is based upon the player's and the monster's brains. The player gets credit for slaying the monster if he/she succeeds. Otherwise, nothing happens, and the chance to luckout is lost.
Evade- Attempt to run away. Success is based upon both the player's and the monster's brains and quickness.
In addition, do not take too long to fight. The longer a fight takes, the more your speed drops. Characters have been known to die of fatigue, especially when terminals are left unattended.