Thinking of candy bars people like, Zan, next time you're in town you should remind me to take you to a vending machine that has Nutrageous.
All the combat systems for tabletops I've played* have been really precise simulationist sorts of things.** Each round is 6/3/1 seconds and you can do exactly this in it, timing of simutaneous actions works in precisely this way, all that rot, keeping track of precise amounts of damage and HP and such, with a good portion of stats and rules specifically focused on combat. This, among many things, makes combats sorta slow (i.e., taking all session and making everyone bored when its not their turn) and makes people who aren't Skikka often do the "I hit it with my sword" thing, worrying more about the rules than the story/roleplaying. At least in games I've played, other parts of the game go much more smoothly and worry less about details, more a "describe what you want to do and make a roll, I'll tell you what happened."*** Exalted's stunts help some by motivating people to describe what they're doing in cool ways, but you still have a big chapter on rules for combat that no one can ever remember.
What I'd like to try is a more abstract system more like how things work the rest of the time. People describe what they're doing, possibly getting bonuses for coolness or soundness of tactics and make (generally opposed) roles to see who succeeds. Instead of having HP and weapon stats and the like, everyone would have a Toughness that would be the number of accumulated successes you need to take them down. It wouldn't matter if you hit them five times with your sword or succeeded at a 5-success attempt to put a bag over its head. The details of what happened, lasting consequences of wounds, and such would be up to roleplaying and the GM.
I feel like I've maybe seen a combat system like this somewhere, but I can't remember where. Anyone have pointers to a more roleplay-oriented combat system in a tabletop?****
Now all I need is to find a group to try a game based on this with, and to not start designing a whole new tabletop system based entirely on theory without playtesting.
*: D&D, Exalted, Burning Wheel, Burning Wheel with a hobbled-together non-scripting-based combat system.
**: Depending on how you define 'tabletop', this isn't technically true. Both that game I used to play with Andrew Hopkins (what was that called... Something of the Castle?) and Choose Your Own Adventure with my family were diceless informal-rules things that worked sorta like I propose.
***: D&D technically defines precisely how long it takes to search a room and such, but no one really pays attention to that most of the time.
****: Part of the inspiration for this mechanic comes from Guild Games, where combat mechanics need to be kept simple and quick, especially when bashing someone with a sword has to compete with toy-gun-physrepped attacks. Even here, though, role playing tends to halt for combat, especially since you don't want to depend on a GM to adjudicate.