Powers that carry the Formbound descriptor depend on imprinting the form of an available creature, usually by touch. This imprinted form serves as a catalyst for the power, similar to a focus for an arcane spell, and the power draws its parameters from the imprinted form,
Any character with a manifester or caster level of 3 or higher who can manifest at least one power or cast at least one spel with this descriptor may imprint the form of one willing living creature (or one who has been dead for no longer than 1 hour power caster/manifester level) into his own body. Imprinting a form takes 1 minute of continued physical contact, but no further action on the character's part. A character cannot imprint a form if it has more hit dice than he has character levels, nor can he imprint forms that were never alive (monsters of the construct and undead types — even if an undead creature was made from a previously living form, its essence is too far removed from its original type to imprint).
A character can imprint one additional form per five caster or manifester levels. The Formbinder and Master Formbinder feats and the anyform savant prestige class can increase this limit. Attempts to imprint additional forms beyond this limit automatically fail. However, as a standard action, a character may choose to abandon any number of imprinted forms, losing access to them (unless he imprints them again later), but allowing him to imprint additional forms. Unless he abandons the form, an imprint lasts a lifetime.
An imprinted form loses many of the characteristics of the individual it was imprinted from. An imprinted form is an average examplke of that kind of creature in all ways. Traits such as extraordinary ability scores, class levels or features, and templates are not stored in an imprint. No spell-like, psi-like, spellcasting, or manifesting abilities can be imprinted, nor can they imprint the form of any creature with the Extraplanar subtype (although outsides may be imprinted if a character attempts to imprint them on their native plane). Similarly, creatures with the Incorporeal or Swarm subtypes cannot be imprinted.
When using a Formbound effect, a character may substitute his own form or the form of a willing or unwilling creature he touches while manifesting/casting the effect in place of an imprinted form (and indeed must do so if he is using such an effect before his caster or manifester level is 3). This substituted form cannot have more Hit Dice than teh cahracter has levels, and must be of a valid type (and subtype). This creates a temporary imprint that doesn't count towards his maximum number of imprints, but fades when the effect does.