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The rats/vipers can't see the thrower, so they have no reason to leave the safety of the pit... Yes, it is absolutely a silly mathematical exercise.
Pointless? Let me think about that.
For 2.25 gp in PFS you can buy 225 rats. For about 1 GP you can hire a ditch digger to dig a pit to put them in. For 20 GP you can buy an alchemical fire. It is 100% PFS legal to do all of this... You just have to survive the wrath of the GM....
For about 360 GP (Rich Parents trait works - I think it is PFS legal anyway) you can repeat this until you are the first level 20 character in PF play. You might have to find a new GM every time you try it... lol.
I have a player who has Speedy Summons (from Mythic Adv) and am curious as to the ruling on how long these critters last.
I mean, typically it is 1 round/level...
But does this mean that because he can cast the spell in less than one round that the duration is the casting round PLUS one more round per level? In other words, it comes into being, attacks, then attacks again on the next round, then disappears (level 1)?
I was discussing splash weapons in another thread and the general consensus of people is that splash weapons affect every creature within 5' of where they land (and the square they hit if not a directed attack).
So, as a SCHMOOOOZE to see how well one could level, I decided to see what the cheapest way to level using the core rulebooks is.
Vipers are CR 1/2. 225 of these tiny critters can fit in a 15'x15' pit.
Two Splash weapons at Point Blank Range (with PBS) or three without would kill all the vipers in the pit.
45,000 XP. That gets you to level 7 on medium.
Now, how much did this cost? 5 gp per Viper = 1125 GP. Which you could get to using the "Rich Parents" trait (900 of it) and perhaps a good roll on your background money (225 more)?
Alternately, you could use rats or cats (CR 1/4): But you would only get 22,500 per pit full. (cost 1cp and 3cp x 225 = 225cp to 675cp - affordable on anyone's salary). (using rats is only 160 pits full to hit level 20... well, sorta - because you don't get any more XP after the first or second pit full, right?)
Rat swarms would be ideal (perhaps starting with rats and somehow making the swarm?) as they are CR 2. (but with 16 HP you would need 8-16 splash weapons/rounds unless you are an alchemist). But 60,000 XP in a few rounds might be well worth the investment. (higher level, so XP reduction for next pit is "better")
Anyone have any other cheap ways to level and "SCHOOOOOZE" the "system"? Just for fun, post your most ludicrous VIABLE method of leveling. Speed counts (and casting usually summons things you don't get XP for, recall) - as does viability (use by everyone - specialists can speed it up, but everyone should be able to level using the methods posted).
GM's don't exist... just pure SCHOOOOOZE... ;)
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Why would a medium creature, who is covered entirely by the splash area, take less damage than a large creature, who just got hit on one side?
Because the medium creature only got 1 ounce of acid on them. the large creature took 2 ounces of acid, and the huge one took 3 ounces of acid splash... each ounce did 1 damage... why can't people understand the logic behind this?
Or as a rebuttal: Why would a large creature standing where acid splashed over his whole side take the same damage as when just half his side was splashed? 50% less acid does the same damage/has the same effect... hmmm... never learned THAT trick in College Chem class...
I think I win for most XP in one turn after discussing this:
Pit full of vipers, 15'x15'... 225 vipers. One splash weapon. Add int to damage as an alchemist. 675 Damage (well, not counting hp below zero).
45,000 XP. Thanks 1st to 7th level jump!
(ps. if you can buy a viper for less than 1 GP, I think this is the best value for XP ever :) )
OK. My final ruling on the entire "splash effects" thing are thus:
A targeted splash weapon hits one creature and splashes 5' in each direction PROVIDED that direction is not blocked by a creature (partial cover) or object (partial cover).
This keeps a splash weapons thrown by ANYONE from doing 900 points to diminutive creatures in a 15'x15' grid, 225 points to tiny creatures in a 15'x15' grid (room full of cats... are they alive or dead?), or 36 points to small creatures trapped in a 15'x15' room (Gnomes, Halfling slaves, Svirfbenlin, etc..).
The splash effect pattern is the same for diminutive, tiny, small as it is for medium. Large creatures block the other three squares they occupy when struck. Huge creatures block the other squares they occupy when hit in the middle square (and thus take no additional splash damage).
This allows a splash person to indirectly hit a Large creature with 2 points of splash damage by targeting the square next to them (they got hit with 2x as much acid, so why wouldn't they take 2x as much damage) and a Huge creature to possibly take 3 points of splash damage in the same manner (again, they were splashed with 3x as much acid).
It prevents any splash weapon person from effecting more than 9 combatants at a time (a reasonable limit ignored by sizes as pointed out above by the "regular" rule).
I think this is fine and logical. Sorry if you disagree with the idea that a large or huge monster might be affected more than once, but I see this as entirely logical (and they get DR versus all splash damages as separate attacks... its not magic, after all...).
They had 3x the acid land on them... they still have a tough hide in all three spots... only 1 point in each spot... soak it if you can Mr. Monster. Their entire side got sprayed (right front foot, torso, right hind foot), so they should take more damage than if only their right front foot got sprayed... if DR doesn't nullify it.
(also, I am not talking about alchemical BOMBS... I am talking about normal SPLASH WEAPONS - non-magical ones; a fireball and an alchemical bomb would affect everyone in the area of effect... splash weapons I don't really see working that way, from a physics standpoint)
Well, thanks for the discussion... I am going to run it based on logic and RAW instead of the failed "its like a fireball" - which it isn't.
If I rained acid down all over the top of a monster
It would be covered in acid and take 9 points of acid damage (one for each square). It would count as separate attacks (so if it had DR OR resistance it would do basically nothing).
I just can't equate
with being "exactly the same" as
Of course you would do more physical damage to something the more of it you hit. Anything else is like saying that if you smash all your fingers on one hand with a hammer, it won't hurt you any more than if you just hit your thumb. Which, just... makes... no... sense... to... me.
Also, the fireball argument is completely horrible, fallacious, and wrong... fireball is magic, and only affects something once... lasting fire walls and obstacles (terrain) affect per 5' squares you move though... acid is way more like that than a fireball. Splash weapon damage is not magical, it is physical, like terrain damage.
I've had similar discussions regarding magic damage versus physically manifestations before... I have to run with the "logic" of real physics when dealing with real physics items.
"area affects" and "splash damage" are simply. not. the. same. thing. "if you target a grid intersection, creatures in all adjacent squares are dealt the splash damage," - ALL being the important part to me... not ONE/ONCE/only once... Are you in an the first adjacent square? Take damage. Are you in the next adjacent square? Take damage. Are you in the next? Take damage... and so on... Not "are you a creature in at least ONE adjacent square, take damage once please."
It just seems to be the logical (if abuse-able) way to run it.
Do you move through the first 5' of fire/bramble wall? take damage. Do you move through the next 5' of fire/bramble wall? take damage. The next? Take damage.
(ps. I'd love a FAQ quote to lay out a logical reason otherwise... but splash weapons are "real physics" weapons, and I think they should be treated as such, as opposed to magic area effect spells which are not (typically))
Also in interesting "each creature gets hit once" variant of the "accepted" interpretation...
I have the following setup:
8 Swarms of 100 creatures... does that mean I do 800 points of damage with one splash weapon? Or are now you suddenly going to apply 1 point of damage against the SQUARE instead (thus applying only to the entire swarm once)? (and if it were a single huge swarm it would do even LESS damage, taking either 1 damage or 1d6 from the x square (which it would also occupy, being 15x15) and NONE else from your interpretation... which makes little to no sense, when you think about it...)
Jeff Merola wrote:
Each creature within the splash takes damage once, regardless of how many squares they occupy.
Any FAQ to support this? The implication is there - but is kind of silly....
If I have the following setup:
Then everyone takes splash damage, including the two orcs in the back. So the splash affects those squares... right?
But "magically" if I have
Then the splash has NO EFFECT on the L.L squares... Why shouldn't a creature be considered 5' from x 3 times? He covers three squares that are 5' from x. We're saying that a creature basically "soaks" the acid in the other two squares (for no good reason) that would otherwise damage creatures in those squares (if they weren't a single creature). This is what makes little sense (logically) to me.
(ps. please ignore my ignorance to the number of squares a Large critter takes up (10x10)... I was more illustrating a point than trying to worry about this)
No, for the same reason a large creature doesn't take quadruple damage from a Fireball.
RAW: "If the target is Large or larger, you choose one of its squares and the splash damage affects creatures within 5 feet of that square."
ONCE is implied? Alright. I might accept that, even though it makes perfect sense that a fireball (magic effect) would only affect something once. While all rules for physical effects tend to be able to affect things more than once (going through a wall of flame as a conjured effect or just as a trap someone made does damage for each 5' you move through, etc... )...
But I would point out that a large creature stepping in two acid traps at the same time would take damage from each square a trap was in (ie. each square acid was in).
A.A. LLLL comes along and moves into position over A.A. - sets off two traps of acid, and is affected by both... so why, when a splash of acid hits AAA. would it be any different (being non-magical, and thus "different" from magic damage)?
See why I am thinking they SHOULD take multiplied damage? All rules on PHYSICAL manifestations do multiple damage per SQUARE... not per spell effect (like magic). Keeping in mind, also, you can DODGE a fireball, but apparently not splash damage... go figure.
Ok, so for the first time I am playing something that throws things and am reading the splash weapon rules with due diligence.
My question is this:
Does a splash weapon that did not target a large creature deal splash damage to every square it affects that the creature is in?
In other words: Normally a splash weapon would deal splash damage to a 9x9 area (centered on the middle square, AC 5). Does each SQUARE take splashing... or each MONSTER in "a" square?
A = Alchemist throws a splash weapon at x. L's represent the Large opponent. O's are say Orcs. The alchemist does 1+Int Bonus to each Orc... but what about the Large creature? Does it take 1+Int or 1+Int times three?
Seems like all three squares would be splashed... but at the same time I see the obvious abuse possibilities.
RAW says that you can pick a square to hit a large monster, and it damages all the squares around it with splash... which indicates that the large monster, aimed directly at, might take additional splash damage from the splash weapon as well (for each 5 foot square the splash hits). Help?
Since the x rules only mention summoned monsters, wouldn't we apply the "if it doesn't specifically say" rule against the GM? The rules on summoned critters DON'T mention gates, so you get full xp on gated monsters.??? We seems to apply this logic everywhere else in PF.
Unless there is a rule specifically saying you don't get xp for gated monsters, you do. There is a rule specifically for summoned, so you don't.
ps. A gated monster is a fully functional additional foe, so of course you should get xp.
I am attempting to make a spellslinger, but are they seriously broken or what? Some of the enhancements from magic bullets only apply to melee weapons, so what gives? Additionally, do these enhancements work on spells cast through the firearm? Such as "seeking" allowing you to target invisible targets with spells (thus breaking "that rule") by hitting the right square?
Lots of questions like this arise from this class. Do you only get the enhancement from the magic bullets? Or can you use a normally created +5 firearm and get that bonus? Can magic bullets give an already magic item a bonus combination greater than +10?
Any help/discussion would be appreciated. Thanks.
Rogue or Bard skill monkeys: bring intimidate/performance feats/flat footed foes/and sneak attacks (which can be stacked with sniper goggles and greater invisibility to ensure death to the opponents). Bards are particularly good at making every knowledge roll with a take 10 and no effort per se. Rogues are better if specialized in a subclass, granted, or crossed over slightly into a spell casting class.
In fact, most classes are best with a dip here or there. That's the nature of the game, I guess. It's not a "mundane" world, after all.
One moving greater invisibility spell caster/other archer/rogue/etc... can probably down the ranger if your intent is to kill them. 8th level is spell level 4, so there you go.
Now, if the ranger is the one who has gone greater invisible... well he will dominate combat.
I don't know exactly what their build is, but I had a rogue with a composite bow doing this sort of thing for 4 flaming arrows a round (3 sneak attacks at 4d6, so 22d6 total) with a +4 composite bow (+16), pbs +4 (within 30'). Something like that. So while not quite 280, it hit 152 max nicely. If they had known about sniper goggles the encounters would have taken place after a round of running away or something most likely.
Anyway, being able to pump out 140+ damage is possible even with the "weak" rogue class at level 8. (3 8d6 spells do 24d6 = 144 damage - so a "fast" spell and two more (one via a staff/weapon and one cast) and mages can do in the same neighborhood of damage).
The Archive wrote:
This one kills people in PFS, so I have heard...
Can you find an example of a "penalty to damage"? That is part of the problem. Quote?
I found: silver bullets and sickened, etc... so yeh. OK. Those spell out a "penalty to damage rolls" (not damage result, mind you).
The logic you are using is flawed. Penalties are reductions, not all reductions are penalties.
Well, that is the question, isn't it? In my original post, I asked if DR and other things that reduce damage, pursuant to the Damage rule in question, count as penalties.
Then I asked if they fit the definition of a penalty; a numerical reduction in a statistical score or check.
Then I asked, if they don't fit this definition, because a damage calculation isn't a statistical score or check (which, honestly it seems like it is not either).
Then I asked; if damage isn't either of these, why mention a penalty at all in the damage section?
Working backwards, and presuming "penalty" was used in the damage section because damage is a "statistical score", I surmised that ANY PENALTY in the damage section meant "any numerical reduction" in that "statistical score." Thus DR, as a numerical reduction, counts as a penalty to damage.
While the logic may be suspect, as "all numerical reductions might not be penalties" - "any penalties" in the damage section would indicate "all numerical reductions" in the penalties definition. Though I see your "logical point", I hope you see how it came about "backwards" given that there is no reason to mention penalty in the damage section, much less "any penalty", if they only meant one kind.
Penalty: Penalties are numerical values that are subtracted from a check or statistical score. Penalties do not have a type and most penalties stack with one another.
So again, no, you didn't "fix that."
It most certainly is part of the hit resolution. What? You just hit and say "I did five" and then the GM applies "five damage"? No. The GM reduces the damage from the attack which hit to less than one (0). Per the rule, this attack, which was reduced to zero, should do 1 non-lethal damage. It doesn't say "only penalties from the attacker" anywhere. It says "any penalty" - which means penalties (numerical reductions) from any source, should apply. Including a numerical 5 point reduction from DR. The attack did (0) damage to the person, not 5. When the attack is over, the person takes 5? No. The attacked person takes 0. After all penalties are applied.
The Archive wrote:
Penalties on the damage roll are things belonging to the creature that attacked.
Only? Really? Please enlighten me to where it says this ANYWHERE? That would definitely convince me I am wrong. But so far, RAW, have not found it ANYWHERE. A link / quote would be nice. I quoted the definition of a "penalty" and nowhere in that part does it mention an "originates only from the attacker" vibe. It says "any numerical reduction." Which indicates to me that the attacker does not need to be the origin. ANY source that reduces it (the damage check/ statistical score) = a penalty.
There is no mention of damage reduction functioning as a penalty in the damage reduction entry. Even if it had implied it, words such as "negated" would have no place there. If it doesn't mention it, it doesn't exist. Anything else beyond that would be a house rule.
" For example, DR 5/magic means that a creature takes 5 less points of damage from all weapons that are not magic." Is 5 a numerical reduction? Yep. Is a penalty a numerical reduction? Yep.
"Attacks from weapons that are not of the correct type or made of the correct material have their damage reduced," Numerical reduction = a penalty to damage? Yep.
Chris Mortika wrote:
Good to know where it came from. Explains why it is ignored RAW (because it never applied like that in 3.5).
I guess from what I see the "penalties" don't have to originate from the attacker only. When you resolve damage, any numerical subtraction from damage would count as a penalty (per the definition of penalty). So when you apply the "end damage", if it less than 1 (ie. completely negated by DR or resistance), per the rule, you should apply 1 point of non-lethal damage.
I don't know if this is what the PFS devs meant to do, but it certainly seems to be a logical understanding of the rule as written.
If intent were still to only apply to STR damage modifiers, then it would still have been there in PF (one would think). The PF devs wanted it to apply to all damage modifiers, it would seem. So, does DR subtract 5 damage? Yep.
I know its an interpretation that isn't popular (even I, as I have said, have never run it this way/ever noticed what the rule actually states). I do think it is more logical to use the non-lethal damage rule (especially for damage reduction) against large quantities of foes. If fifty people attack you, I don't care if they can cut you, they can still beat you down... one would think. I know DR is a "special ability". And maybe that shouldn't be the case (maybe you can laugh off attacks forever, from everyone not attacking with magical weapons). Seems like the way the people run it has more to do with what Damage Reduction says, so I guess I should look there.
If you hit someone, regardless of damage penalties, you do 1 point of (non-lethal) damage. Yes, if you do 1-5 non-lethal, that is 1 non-lethal, even with 5 DR. Just like if you do 1-5 lethal, that becomes 1 non-lethal (ie. you don't break the skin).
My point being that DR does not mitigate non-lethal damage (completely), as when it is a penalty that reduces (damage REDUCTION) the damage done to less than 1, the defender takes 1 point of non-lethal damage, per the (highly ignored, but there) rule.
"all my penalties" - see, this right here is the problem I have. All of us GMs have always added that "my penalties" crap. Where does it say "only my penalties apply to damage" ... um. No. Damage is resolved to a creature's HP after all penalties, not just "mine" (the attacker's). It also requires you to resolve defensive penalties to damage, such as DR and resistances.
most ignored rule in any game I've played: encumbrance.
I use encumbrance all the time. In fact, I have often checked over a sheet and laughed at someone trying to carry 400 pounds of gear. Then I have asked if they are really going to go adventuring with it all... then I ask how. Then I make them drop stuff (no 2000' of rope for you!). Then I ask for the modified character sheet. And I check it over again. Then, if possible, I copy it prior to gaming so the butthurt player doesn't just write in some crap they need on the fly and try to "pass it by" me. I might also mention to them Bags of Holding are available for the relatively reasonable price of about the same as their magic weapon (if any).
Yeh, I do encumbrance like that (unless all the players are well under their thresholds or are Dwarves).
For the record: found the definition of "penalty" - Penalty: Penalties are numerical values that are subtracted from a check or statistical score. Penalties do not have a type and most penalties stack with one another.
So that opens up that can of worms: Is damage a check? Or a statistical score?
If yes (to either), what is a "numerical value that are subtracted from" them? Damage REDUCTION subtracts the number from each attacks... so DR would count.
If no (to both), why mention "penalty" in the damage section at all?
If damage reduction doesn't reduce your damage, why do you have to roll damage at all?
Think about that.
If I roll d6 versus DR5/- then what happens? I have to roll to see if I do enough damage to get past it (a 6). That damage starts at 6, and 5 is subtracted from it. You didn't roll a 1, and ignore the DR. You did 6-5 = 1 point.
So in the event that you roll a 1-5, what happens? You have 5(or less) - 5 = 0 (or less). Thus, you incur the damage of 1 non-lethal hit point, per they ignored rule, anyway. Why? Because the "penalty" from the DR reduces the damage to less than 1.
Example of application: A group of 100 archers fire at a 90 HP creature with DR 10/-. Every GM I have ever seen will say "this does nothing to the 90 HP creature, even if they all hit." Per the rule (which, incidentally, is the FIRST SPECIAL HIGHLIGHTED AND BOLDED PART OF DAMAGE, as important as adding your STR Bonus, or Getting your multiplier right, etc...) if all of them hit, the creature would be knocked unconscious by the force of 100 arrows (which didn't penetrate its skin, but did knock it out).
Which, is an interesting "never been applied" rule. Eh? The obvious discussion here is "what is a penalty" - is it only from the attacker themselves (as the d2-3 example theorizes) or is it ANY penalty (such as DR and resistances and negation abilities) to damage (where you still hit, which wouldn't count cover and concealment rolls)?
To say an ability that has "reduction" in its name doesn't "reduce damage" but instead "just makes it zero" is sort of silly, IMHO. I know that GMs have never really looked at this rule this way, which is why I pointed it out. Is it being completely ignored? Or applied right (to only attacks which negate themselves out like d2-3 attacks)? Seems like they wouldn't have to bother telling you that d2-3 does a minimum of 1 point elsewhere if they meant it did 1 point of non-lethal damage.
Right. Absolutely. And the "ignored rule" says that if damage is completely negated (less than 1, and zero is less than one, right?), they take one point of non-lethal damage. Thus why I say it is THE MOST IGNORED RULE. I don't think I have EVER seen it applied in ANY situation. Because most GMs (me included) say "oh, well, you didn't take any damage from that because of xyz" and completely ignore this rule.
If they sipped acid they would say "ow ow ow" - so if they "type" fits? But that is a "type of damage" question. What "type" is "scalding" - does it appear anywhere else? Is it acid(earth type)? No. Is it wind(air type)? No. Is it lightning(electrical type)? Is it loud(sonic type)? Well, there are only "five types" of elemental damage. So, in theory, the "absurdity" is to call it "untyped" just because it is "scalding". That implies "heat" which isn't any of the other four types of damage.
Does a red dragon take heat damage in the desert? Nope? The same "logic" applies, doesn't it?
Ah yes, but what about this: Damage Reduction: If damage reduction completely negates the damage from a called shot, the called shot has no effect. If hit point damage does get through, the called shot has normal effects. Damage reduction does not reduce any ability damage, ability drain, penalties, or bleed damage caused by the called shot.
So it is a "reduction" and something that "negates" damage... is "reduction" = a penalty to damage? What is a penalty if not something that reduces it? If it doesn't reduce the ability drain, penalties, or bleed damage - then does it negate the 1 non-lethal hit point from this "ignored rule"?
Wonder how many GMs actually apply this rule for DR/-, Damage Reduction, and anything else that mediates damage (such as a hit that is "absorbed" by a percentile ability).
Minimum Damage: If penalties reduce the damage result to less than 1, a hit still deals 1 point of nonlethal damage.
I don't think I have ever, nor ever had a GM keep track of this unless it was purposefully applied. And consider this for a rogue/sap master that must do non-lethal damage with an attack... can they then apply that non-lethal damage feat to the target with DR/-?
"A creature with the scent ability can detect an invisible creature as it would a visible one." Which begs the question: does that mean they can basically "see" them with their nose, negating the concealment?
Answer is "no." If you read the scent ability, they just have an easier time pinpointing the invisible person (and don't need to roll perception). The person is still invisible (50% concealment), just automatically pinpointed.
As a simple "race" build, I wanted to add "Plant" subtype to the "Human" subtype to essentially create a race of plant humans.
No problem, 10 RP, and that leaves them at 19, which is under the 20 I am limiting the campaign to. However, I kind of wanted them to be more like "Pod People" from "Attack of the Pod People" (movies). So for one RP I developed this ability and was looking for some input to see if anyone had any better idea or wording for it.
Special Reproduction (1 RP):
On a successful special coup de gras attack, the Pod Person can instead reproduce another of its race. The process takes 8 hours, and the remains of the original person are completely replaced with an exact copy with the following changes: Adds Plant subtype, Alignment changes to true Neutral, and gains the Special Reproduction ability. The reproduction is innately non-hostile towards everyone and everything until it has further contact and reason to be aggressive, but otherwise possesses all memories, skills, and levels of the copied entity. Any "hatred", "hated enemy" abilities or statuses are removed (but favored enemy abilities remain). If interrupted (either the copy or copier is harmed) before the process is complete, the reproduction fails and the copy dies. The victim can be raised as its normal type during the time it takes to copy it, effectively interrupting and ending the copy process. The copier is considered prone during this time unless the process is interrupted, at which time it reverts to regular status (when the copy dies).
Because it takes a special attack (coup de gras) and 8 hours to perform (applying "prone" to the character the whole time) I feel the 1 RP is fine. Obviously it isn't going to be done "easily" and is also "easily" interrupted (if known about). I feel this really adds the whole "Pod People" feel to the race (and any new subtype race combinations that occur from it). Golarion beware, the pods have landed...
I am starting a 20 point, 20 RP campaign using any prebuild races (20 RP or under) or any prebuilt with a template applied (still under 20 RP - so like a Plant Human would be 20 RP).
I was carousing the books and am wondering if I might just play a Svirfneblin monk. I would like to take a monk subtype that doesn't have diamond body at level 11 (because the Svirfneblin already gets better). Also, one that would use Dex and Wisdom for damage instead of strength would be a bonus. Of course Charisma based stuff is straight out. Any help with a subtype would be great. +3 AC to start, with +2 saves (+6 poison), SR 11+CL, and dex and wisdom bonuses seem to make a decent monk, no?
The other thoughts for characters were a Kasasha whip master of some sort (fighter maybe, maybe rogue/bard).
The last choice being a plant human sorcerer or wizard (just because a druid is to obvious).
Ideas for these sorts of combinations are welcome. As would any other racial builds. I tried to start something once before like this and it was immediately "out of control" as the "races" were more designed as "how to maximize a class they are going to be" than a "race." So I am hoping to avoid that sort of thing again.
Yeh, entirely up to the surviving spouse. Talk to them about it and what THEY want to do. Grief is a weird thing, and I would expect at some point the spouse will cry in the middle of an adventure in the future. Be prepared for that as well, as it might be a night ender. Don't get mad at them if it happens and invite them back, but talk to them about maybe doing something else if something triggered the grief.
Never going to be the same. The closest I have come to this is gaming with divorced spouses (where we played with both of them before). Its a little weird, but not really the same at all.
Generally, unless you are being secretly poisoned, you notice when attacked. Even with secret poisoning, you notice that you aren't quite right. For the most part, after you figure this out, a simple divining spell could deduce the problem. A heal check might also notice the damage somehow (like sucker marks or whatever) followed by knowledge checks to see what happened/what did it/what was done.