If nereids are the enchantresses of the water fey and bog nixies are the witches, that basically makes oceanids the druids and water elementalists. These nymphs eschew the beguiling habits of their sisters for the magic of the waves, weather, and sea life. In fact, their bodies are even part water, only resolving into legs on land.
Since they live in the wide-open oceans, oceanids still regard mortals as novelties. Thus they generally like encounters with people, especially flatterers…but say the wrong thing and they will hurl waves, waterspouts, and elementals at you with the fury of a tropical storm.
PS: I was a little surprised at first that oceanids are less powerful than nereids—oceans are bigger places than rivers, lakes, bays, and seas, after all. Then again, life in the pelagic zone, while never precisely calm, has its own natural rhythms, and oceanids reflect that. Whereas life closer toward land means facing all kinds of threats and temptations, so perhaps nereids have grown in strength by necessity. (This may also explain the differences between their magic.)
Also Wikipedia reminded me that in Greek mythology oceanids are the daughters of titans, whereas nereids (while also being daughters of titans) more closely associate with their heirs, the victorious gods. If your campaign has similar divine power struggles in its ancient past, an old-order vs. new-order conflict is one explanation for the power difference.
A vain oceanid falls in love with an ice sculptor’s rendition of her…so naturally she abducts the sculptor. Her galvo majordomo is less than amused to be tending to this weak, non-water-breathing ape, and plans to sell him to sahuagin fleshcrafters.
A pilot plies her trade from a small shack on Pikefin Wharf. Known to be bitter and acerbic to the extreme, she nevertheless knows her trade—no ship in her care has ever foundered, run aground, or been lost to storm. The cause of her bitterness is exile: She is an oceanid forced to shelter on land, replenishing herself with a swim at dawn and dusk. Whatever her trespass, she clearly still fears retribution, and will kill to keep her secret. If befriended, her local knowledge and waveglide ability could make the difference in a coming battle, but spending too long in deep water may alert her enemies.
In order to be crowned archdruid, an adventuring druid must first challenge the leaders of the five Low Circles. The Circle of Sea and Sky is not led by a druid, however, but by an oceanid. She favors dueling with summoned nature’s allies, and in addition to the usual orca or moray eel a druid of her talents might summon, she can also raise spiny creatures from depths rarely seen by men (treat each as a manticore with a swim speed of 50 ft. and a fly speed of 30 ft. (clumsy)). Any cheating or aid from outside parties (such as the druid’s fellow adventurers) will be met with a blast of water telekinesis.
—Pathfinder Bestiary 4 208
Hey all, I’m getting the entries out basically on time, but responding to mail, thoughts on recent RPG book purchases, and any of the other things I like to do in this space still have to take a backseat until work calms down. Keep writing and reblogging, though! You guys are great.
Edit: Attention markmoreland and wesschneider: Now that guyads are canon in in Pathfinder, might I propose the broceanid?