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In Pathfinder (not 2, and other systems for comparison would be interesting for comparison but are not the question)...

Assuming you are large or larger, and expect a square you occupy to later be attacked, can you squeeze of your own choice?

For example, a huge or larger creature backed up against a cliff who expects to be targeted by arrows, can they 'press themselves to the wall' squeezing into the space nearest the wall, otherwise following all squeeze rules?

Or similarly knowing that a square is trapped in a hallway can you squeeze to walk past without setting it off?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ For avoidance of doubt: are you looking for a "rules as written" answer backed up by specific quotes from the rulebook or similar canonical sources, or would you be happy with slightly more fluffy answers? \$\endgroup\$ – Philip Kendall Dec 11 '18 at 6:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ For comparison, can an example be provided of a situation that does force a creature to squeeze? That is, while all of these examples are optional squeezing situations, even squeezing to enter a little tunnel remains a choice: the creature could just opt not to enter the tunnel! (And suffer the consequences for that choice, obviously.) Is what's meant here like Can a creature squeeze only when terrain or obstacles limit the creature's mobility or can a creature squeeze whenever it wants? or something? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Dec 11 '18 at 13:39
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As long as the space is at least 1/2 the character's normal size you can squeeze into it with the following penalties:

  • movement while squeezed cost twice as much
  • you take a -4 penalty on attack
  • you take a -4 penalty to ac

So, I doubt it would actually, by the rules, be helpful to the giant avoiding arrows, although, if you find a good reason, any creature can voluntarily squeeze.

See: https://www.d20pfsrd.com/gamemastering/combat/

Squeezing

In some cases, you may have to squeeze into or through an area that isn’t as wide as the space you take up. You can squeeze through or into a space that is at least half as wide as your normal space. Each move into or through a narrow space counts as if it were 2 squares, and while squeezed in a narrow space, you take a –4 penalty on attack rolls and a –4 penalty to AC.

When a Large creature (which normally takes up 4 squares) squeezes into a space that’s 1 square wide, the creature’s miniature figure occupies 2 squares, centered on the line between the 2 squares. For a bigger creature, center the creature likewise in the area it squeezes into.

A creature can squeeze past a creature while moving but it can’t end its movement in an occupied square.

To squeeze through or into a space less than half your space’s width, you must use the Escape Artist skill. You can’t attack while using Escape Artist to squeeze through or into a narrow space, you take a –4 penalty to AC, and you lose any Dexterity bonus to AC.

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RAW the answer is no

Squeezing

In some cases, you may have to squeeze into or through an area that isn’t as wide as the space you take up. You can squeeze through or into a space that is at least half as wide as your normal space. Each move into or through a narrow space counts as if it were 2 squares, and while squeezed in a narrow space, you take a –4 penalty on attack rolls and a –4 penalty to AC.

As you can see from the rule the act of "squeeze" is always related to an area not wide enough to contain the creature/character. If the creature/character is inside an unoccupied square and free area the game assume you occupy always all the square you are into.

Finally, if the square is trapped, even if you squeeze the trap set off. In a square with a trap, by rules, the square have not a safe zone to pass throug (ofcourse this is a general state...the GM can allow to squeeze to pass a trap)

What can you do in your situation?

Using the rule, simply, your creature can use stealth to hide itself and prepare an ambush (a counter ambush in this case?)

Create an houserule and allow to squeeze even in standard squares.

Keep in mind anyway... that what are you saying here:

[...] For example, a huge or larger creature backed up against a cliff who expects to be targeted by arrows, can they 'press themselves to the wall [...]

what you want to achieve is more cover than squeeze in my opinion and cover provide a +4 AC...and I think, in this case, is fine since the creature is acting to be protected from arrow fired at him from up the cliff so I suggest you think about "cover" more than "squeeze". Other than this, cover, give you the chance (but is not automatic) to make stealth checks if you want.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't know how they could stealth unless they also had some sort of cover. Being wide open, side-stepping along a cliff-face I don't think I'd allow a stealth check. Unless maybe the enemy were above them and weren't already aware of them. \$\endgroup\$ – Jason_c_o Dec 11 '18 at 9:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ The cliff is an "obstacle" in game rules and as a consequence it provide cover since it is a pretty big obstacle. Ofcourse, cover, has specific rules and only the GM knows if stealth checks are possible in his situation. Unless he describes all the details and space where the action is happening we can only answer in generic manner and, generally speaking, cover allows to make stealth checks. Anyway, as he described the situation, the enemies are on a different level, not on the ground as the creature itself. \$\endgroup\$ – Mouza Dec 11 '18 at 9:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ "Obstacles" only grant cover if they are in between the threat and the PC/creature. And they could be below them, as well. \$\endgroup\$ – Jason_c_o Dec 11 '18 at 11:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ If the enemies are below (on the same ground level) or behind the PC/creature...how squeezing against a wall can help that PC/Creature to protect himself from arrows :)? In the question he is pretty clear "squeezing to have protection from arrow" so the enemies can't be behind or below with the PC. \$\endgroup\$ – Mouza Dec 11 '18 at 12:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ On the trapped section, it's not really that no portion of the square is "safe", it's more just assumed that you trigger it if you bumble into the spot. Knowing it's there could make it very easy to avoid (such as with trip-wire triggers). \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Dec 19 '18 at 21:53

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