Conflicts happen, and sometimes ugly situations get uglier. Sooner or later, the fists go up and the blades come out and combat ensues. It's inevitable that combat and fights will happen on a site, and we do not wish to hinder whatever routes creativity leads our players down (within reason). That said, we at No Books of Men have established some basic guidelines to executing a combat thread smoothly and effectively.
First, please make sure that all parties involved are aware of the IC nature of a fight. Nothing turns uglier than a misunderstanding on someone's part and interpreting IC actions as OOC animosity. These sorts of things tend to spill over onto the cbox and ugliness ensues, which for everyone's sake cannot happen. So, please, keep your IC and OOC actions separate, especially when dealing with combat/conflict.
Secondly, please be respectful and open with each other while discussing/planning combat out of character before the fight ensues. Communicate, communicate, and communicate more. Make sure that both sides are happy with the situation and neither feels slighted or unfairly treated regarding any part of the combat scenario. This is good advice no matter the context of the thread, but particularly when physical harm and/or death is a possible outcome.
Thirdly, harkening back to the rule regarding IC actions and consequences, what happens in the fight happens. If you get struck, it will hurt and possibly need medical attention. If a fireball strikes you badly enough, it will leave scars. No one is invincible, even in a game with wizards and psychics, please remember this.
Fourthly, please remember that there are no winners or losers in a roleplaying game. Your character might lose a fight, but develops as a person, thus meaning you 'won' in the long run. Conversely, if a character wins a scuffle and learns nothing from the altercation, what was the purpose of having the character fight in the first place.
Finally, on a site involving magic workers, it is essential to state for the record that using spells on other characters without the knowledge of the other player is not kosher. Simple detection magics might be permissible, so long as they are basic and surface level. Mind reading/control, physiological mutations, time-stopping, etc should never be used without consulting the other player involved. No exceptions. Even out of combat, using magic to power game and throw your weight around OOC isn't alright. So don't do it, folks. Just don't. ^_^