Skyrim Special Edition

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Arduunos - AliTheLord - Parapets - RGMage2

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About this mod

Tweaks and changes to the Abandoned Prison and Helgen Keep for greater convenience, deeper character customization, and better synergy with alternate start mods. Port of the original mod by Adruunos.

Permissions and credits

This is a port of the original Abandoned Prison Tweaks. In short, this improves the starting experience for some of the popular alternate and quickstart options- namely by giving you access to basic equipment, spells, and a birthsign/Doomstone. This was made especially with Live Another Life in mind but will also work with the vanilla start and any other alternate start that still allows access to Helgen Keep, including Alternate Perspective.

Patch for Alternate Perspective here.

Starting Equipment

Sometimes your game start of choice doesn't give you the tools you need for your planned character build. To solve this, this mod adds a Rusty Chest full of super-crappy low-level equipment to both Helgen Keep and the Abandoned Prison covering amulets, robes, light and heavy armor, all weapon skills, torches, a pickaxe, and a woodcutting axe.

Starting Spells

This mod incorporates Starting Spell Choice to allow the player quick access to starting spells in every school of magic. Locate the Forgotten Scroll Case in the Abandoned Prison or in the mage's cell in Helgen Keep and use the scrolls you choose to pick your spells. You will also find two Turn Undead scrolls to help you with early undead fighting.

Starting Birthsign

Thanks to Choose Your Sign, you can now select a starting Birthsign by reading a copy of The Firmament for the first time. A copy has been placed in both Helgen Keep and the Abandoned Prison. Upon reading it, you will open a menu to picka vanilla Doomstone power to start the game with. This power will change any time you use another Doomstone.

Starting Thievery

Burning through lockpicks can be a problem in earlygame, so a cache of them- locked for extra security - has been hidden in both the Abandoned Prison and Helgen Keep. This is especially helpful for opening the Helgen Keep mage's cell for your starter spell scrolls or when choosing the "I want to break out of this cell" start in Live Another Life.

I Messed Up My Face!

Never fear, the Vanity Mirror is here! A new handheld vanity mirror has been placed in the opening room of Helgen Keep and in the depths of the Abandoned Prison. When you equip the item, it opens a limited appearance editor to change your character's features, but not your race or gender. You can also craft the mirror again at a forge if you lose it.

I Play With Alternate Start - Live Another Life

This mod was designed with synergy with Live Another Life in mind, and there are some extra features especially useful to users of that mod. The room itself is better lit for ease of use, there's a journal with hints, a crappy silver sword to fight the prison ghosts with, and you will find a bridge and a temporary horse outside the prison if you break out.

I Play With Vanilla / Some Other Alternate Start

You will still benefit from this mod! The starting cell from Live Another Life will not be available to you, but you can find all the new items in Helgen Keep instead. Heading to the Abandoned Prison, you will still find the silver sword in its depths, a convenient bridge to the entrance spanning the river outside, and an abandoned temporary horse.


This mod should be compatible with virtually everything except the three mods it incorporates.
Character creation overhauls will work, since all the spells and birthsigns are added post-creation via spells and books you pick up.
Standing Stone overhauls are also compatible, since the birthsigns are chosen from among the vanilla Doomstone powers.

Credits & Permissions

You are free to use this mod for anything you want, just give credit to Arduunos and link to this page. Because this incorporates Choose Your Sign, Starting Spell Choice, and Vanity Mirror, you will want to double-check their pages, but all were open when this mod was made. Finally, anything you make with this cannot use "Live Another Life" anywhere in the title.


This is a port of Abandoned Prison Tweaks by Arduunos. I am not the original author and can't really provide support or fulfill any requests, but I have tested the mod and everything is working as intended. I will leave the Comments section open regardless.

The mod has also been re-saved in the SSE CK to Form 44 and all assets were optimized with the Cathedral Assets Optimizer.