In Pathfinder, there are two abilities that allow moving through spaces that are too small without taking penalties. One is the squeeze spell; the other is the compression ability which some monsters have and can be granted by belt of the weasel:

The creature can move through an area as small as one-quarter its space without squeezing or one-eighth its space when squeezing.

Both of those abilities mention "moving through", but not stopping in, smaller spaces.

We are playing the Skulls & Shackles Adventure Path. I am a wild shape druid that loves giant octopus form, and recently got the ability to be a huge octopus. I also happen to have the highest profession sailor so I've been "voluntold" to be the helmsman. I recently got wild speech so I can still communicate in animal form.

I like to be in octopus form already with ice armor up while I'm piloting so if we are attacked I don't need to waste actions transforming and so I can have a good AC. The GM recently ruled that I can't be huge without penalty because there are only 4 squares around the wheel and I'd take up 9. I can be down on the deck and steer backwards, but would take a penalty. I'd like to eventually solve this problem, preferably with a belt of the weasel, as that would solve a lot for dungeon crawling issues too.

Would standing in a square and not moving work with either compression or the squeeze spell?

My thinking is that it should, because both those abilities get rid of attack and AC penalties. Why would they bother with an attack penalty if you can't end your turn squeezed? These abilities would be decidedly less useful if they they only got rid of the penalties while moving (as you can't usually attack in the middle of movement).

One of the other players I'm having a discussion with seems to think it doesn't work because of the wording "moving through".
My counterpoint to that is: What if I am moving through a very long tight tunnel for hours? Does this remove the penalty? If it does then, standing still for hours it should as well, or that would be rather silly.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Related: Can a creature choose to squeeze into a space when not forced to do so? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 29, 2021 at 13:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ @AndrewADeMarco If that's expandable into a full (supported) answer, please do so. Otherwise, we prefer simply not have speculative or partial answers in comments nor answers. It's totally fine for this to simply stay unanswered waiting for anyone with sufficient expertise to resolve it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    May 1, 2021 at 9:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ that's fair, will wait \$\endgroup\$ May 1, 2021 at 11:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ Sounds good. You're welcome to "self-answer" your own question - see the self-answering tag on Role-playing Games Meta for useful guidance on self-answers. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    May 2, 2021 at 20:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Still not able to get a definitive answer. I doubt I ever will, as PF 1E has been abandoned by the creators in favor of 2E, the chances of getting ahold of a developer to answer this seems slim to none. That is what I'm being told on the pathfinder forms anyway. Should I self answer saying this? \$\endgroup\$ May 4, 2021 at 17:57

1 Answer 1


As per this thread here: https://paizo.com/threads/rzs43dc8?Does-the-squeeze-spell-and-compression

There is no official answer and likely never will be one because with PF2E having launched the designers don't really care much about PF1E anymore. Also from that thread multiple people have mentioned they believe it does work while moving. I do truly believe this to be RAI by the designers and others agree. Essentially "can move through" is not a game specific term. It is English description of what you are doing and can include squeezing into and staying in a squeezed space. This makes sense as squeezing specifically gives a penalty to attacks, and these abilities both say they get rid of said penalties. What would be the point of getting rid of an attack penalty only while you are moving?


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