It recently came up in a game that some of my spells have some weird material components, so I have been updating my spreadsheet to know what kind of requirements I have. I found one which has to be a mistake, the requirement makes much more sense as a focus.

Now under Magic: Components

A material component consists of one or more physical substances or objects that are annihilated by the spell energies in the casting process. Unless a cost is given for a material component, the cost is negligible. Don't bother to keep track of material components with negligible cost. Assume you have all you need as long as you have your spell component pouch.

Now the offending spell is Swift Girding

Components V, S, M (the armor to be worn)

So according to the RAW I cast the spell and choose some armor which I or others want to wear right now. But the rules for spell components is that the material focus is annihilated. So the armor(s) should never arrive on the target(s). It would make much more sense for this to be a focus.

Was there a mistake when it was copied to the site? Is it presented that way in the book?


1 Answer 1


The 1st-level Sor/Wiz spell Serren's swift girding [trans] (Knights of the Inner Sea 29) is identical in all but name to the spell swift girding.

According to the author the material component for the spell swift girding is wrong, but the spell's more interesting as printed

Spell developer Patrick Renie says in a 2012 post that what's printed "should have been 'Components V, S, F (the armor to be worn),'" but, as can be seen below, this change raises more questions about the spell swift girding than it answers.

To use the spell as printed, the caster carries around (or is able to manipulate) one or more suits of armor and casts the spell. The spell annihilates the suits of armor that are material components then creates suits of armor identical to the annihilated suits around the picked targets, the targets being treated as though they donned the suits of armor normally.

That's complicated, but the spell does what it says it does: causes a bunch of folks to don armor quickly. The spell's duration of instantaneous even means the newly-created-but-identical-to-the-original suits of armor continue to exist nonmagically.

Were the armor-to-be-worn a focus component instead of a material component, the armor would likely have to move somehow from the caster to the target—presumably via teleportation—, but the spell swift girding neatly sidesteps that problem, eliminating the need for the armor to magically or physically traverse the space between the armor-that's-the-material-component and the warrior that will soon wear an identical suit of armor.

Also, by making the spell swift girding part of the transmutation school instead of the conjuration subschool teleportation, the spell isn't subject to interference from effects that normally block teleportation, like the spell forbiddance.

Paizo rarely issues errata for this line of books, saving its efforts for its main books, so no official word is likely forthcoming. Further, since, as written, the spell is playable and even interesting (even if it does defy expectations), it seems fine to leave the spell alone rather than changing its components and its school to make less powerful a spell that merely allows quickly donning armor.

  • \$\begingroup\$ So the spell is able to recreate my magically enchanted armor? \$\endgroup\$
    – Fering
    Oct 29, 2016 at 15:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Fering While there's probably some troublesome issues involved with the spell—like its interaction with the obscure and messy spell blood money and that the constant annihilating of artifact armor will irritate some powerful folks—, if the spell's used by folks for its intended purpose by folks who aren't trying to weaponize it, yes. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 29, 2016 at 16:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ You have my interest, how would you weaponize it? You cant get ride of anothers armor? \$\endgroup\$
    – Fering
    Oct 30, 2016 at 19:32
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Fering Not so much as an offensive weapon. That is, combined with blood money (available only from a unique source, by the way), this reading of swift girding can create armor, the spells together becoming like a limited yet still overpowered fabricate. Also, each artifact "should have only a single, specific means of destruction," and this is an alternative, albeit a very brief one. Who know what will arrive at the caster's door when he starts poofing the demon prince armor? \$\endgroup\$ Oct 31, 2016 at 7:52

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