Nymphs in your Area!
I really like the idea of Nymphs as, like, natural spirits who take the form of young women and just hang out in their environment. I think the way they are treated in pop culture sucks because they are taken as sex-crazed female divinities (which is where we get the word “nymphomania” from). In OD&D, dryads have a 90% chance of charming visitors into never leaving their forest. What gives with that?
I’ve been thinking a bit about how to handle magic for a DIY-fuck-your-book nonsense project, and it occurred to me that there might be room for nymphs in a sort of animistic setting. I’d say “This is a take on druids!”, but I’d be lying because I don’t know anything about druids. This is more like Roman folk religion where divinities called numina live just about anywhere.
Out of respect, let’s not call our figure a druid. Why not whisperer, to be vague? The whisperer can seek out and talk to nymphs to investigate or learn more about certain natural areas.
Nymphs live anywhere. They most famously reside in trees (dryads), ponds (naiads), seas (nereids), and mountains (oreads). There are other types of nymphs with different names, but these are the most familiar few and they will suffice for a variety of outdoor environments. What matters is that they are there, and that they are tied to their particular location.
Most adventurers have to do lots of hard work to explore and investigate an area. This is something which takes up a decent chunk of the day, at least to learn about things that are not immediately obvious while passing through the area. (This is boilerplate.)
Whisperers, though, have it easy: they whisper to the environment and seek out what divinities, or nymphs, live there. The nymph(s), being divine personifications of natural things, are very familiar with the area they call home. They know whatever a tree, pond, sea, or mount might know. Have any travelers stopped by for water? Are there any new human settlements in the area? What ships sail these waters? I’d like to think the set of possible questions and answers would be endless! (But I'd rather just like hang out. Wouldn't want to bother a stranger with random questions unless I was really stuck.)
Still, having all that without drawbacks or limitations runs into a similar issue as when a ranger is in your D&D 5e party: the character’s skills bypass opportunities for interesting play. One simple restriction might be that a whisperer can only whisper to a certain kind of nymph, like to a dryad or to a naiad. This means that a dryad whisperer cannot seek out a naiad for help.
Another complicating factor might be, if the encounter is treated as such, the reaction of the nymph. She might not always be happy to meet with a human, especially if it means waking up from her usual state. Is she groggy? Is she pissed? Is she even just cautious? This means that meeting a nymph is not a free info dump, but is calling upon a character who lives in the world and has her own thing going on. This might be even more complicated if you have a handful of nymphs nearby, like you roll your die and there’s six of them .
It’s late now so I can’t think of a way it makes sense for a whisperer to “level up” in the same way as the traditional classes, so it might be better for whispering to be a character ability you can claim rather than a distinct character type or whatever (not that we ever run anything for longer than a couple sessions anyway). In any case, it would just make me happy for the world to be full of nymphs just hanging out and doing their thing. Like, I’d want to be a nymph’s friend.
 If anyone were tempted to turn this into a fucking battle, I’d make sure the nymphs were strong enough to not take any shit. I get that nymphs getting helplessly chased is a motif, but I don't like that. A better solution: don’t play with assholes.