Skyrim Special Edition

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About this mod

This is a zEdit patcher that allows you to assign textures to NPCs either randomly, or by rules that can be as broad or specific as you want them to be. Make soldiers shredded, shopkeepers more "padded", young NPCs look young, and older NPCs look more weathered. Everything is totally customizable - make Skyrim's characters look how you like!

Permissions and credits
Why zEBD?

Picture this: You've installed all your mods, your ENB is nice and sparkly, and you're ready to kick off your adventure. If you're playing in VR, you're immersed as you have never been immersed before. You make your way over to Riverwood, where Gorr from Interesting NPCs is condescendingly lecturing Hjoromir. Your immersion knows no bounds... hold on a sec, doesn't Hjoromir have even more wrinkles than Gorr? Why is Gorr calling him "Boy?" Maybe he's nearsighted? You press on, but your immersion has taken a hit. You get to Whiterun and stop for a drink at the Bannered Mare. Ahh, immersed again. Here's Saadia from The Ordinary Women talking to Bijin's Hulda. You settle back comfortably in your chair... wait, did Saadia just call her "Mum"? Who does she think she's fooling, they look the same age! Maybe a hammerfell on her head? Immersion broken, you rage quit in disgust. All that modding, and now you don't even want to play. Well no more.

What it is

zEBD is a zEdit patcher based on the Everybody's Different Redone Skyproc patcher by MongoMonk. It can assign assets (mainly textures, but potentially meshes as well) to NPCs. The two advantages of zEBD are that:

1) you can set rules to assign the textures - restrict muscular normal maps to warriors, older-looking skins to citizens, younger looking skins to players with young voice types. If you can find it in xEdit, you can set the rule.

2) zEBD doesn't come with any texture packs itself, and does not require them to be shared in order do its job. Instead, it uses "config files" which make it easy for you to to install the textures and distribute them to NPCs. Simply download the config file(s) you want, download the textures from the official source on the Nexus (or elsewhere), install them into the correct folder (not through your mod manager), and run the patcher. The config files are designed to make installation as effortless as possible.

How to use it

1: Install Everybody's Different Redone and give MongoMonk/TheBearMan an endorsement! SkyrimVR users must also download and install the optional file. My patcher is pretty much just a front end to tell EBD which textures to apply; the work within Skyrim itself is done by EBD. You do not need to run the EBD patcher, just download the mod through your mod manager and install it.

2: Install zEdit if you don't already have it

3: Download zEBD and install it into zEdit\modules

4: Download whichever config files you'd like to use and follow the (very simple) instructions text file in the download. This pretty much consists of picking one or more *.json configuration files, putting them in zEdit\modules\zEBD\zEBD assets\Asset Pack Settings, downloading the actual texture pack, and extracting it to a specified location.

5: Launch zEdit, customize options if you want, and run the patcher.

The zEBD download includes a full documentation PDF to give you a step by step instruction of how to run the patcher, how to customize the options, and (if you want to use a texture pack for which I have not provided a config file), how to make your own config file starting from one of the blank templates I provide.


This is a zEdit patcher, so it should be compatible with pretty much anything. The generated zEBD.esp should go near the end of your load order with your other zEdit patchers. It should take any other NPC modifications into account.

The few exceptions I've found so far:

Erikur from Men of Winter gets a neck seam. I think it's something to do with his face tint; trying to figure out the issue. Other NPCs from that mod seem to be fine in my testing.

NPCs with non-default head meshes will look incorrect. For example, the new Refined Vokihars mod uses Charmers of the Reach head meshes, and patching them will revert the mesh to default while trying to still apply their headparts, resulting in messed up NPCs. I will try to address this in a future update if possible, but in the meantime it's really easy to circumvent this. zEBD comes with a block list in zEBD\NPC Configuration\BlockList.json. Just open this file in notepad, add the esp to the blockedPlugins section ("blockedPlugins": [Refined Volkihars.esp]) and you're good to go. For more information, see the Docs.

Recommended mods

Obviously the ones for which I've made config files: Tempered Skins for Males, Vitruvia Skins for Males, Bijin Skin, Demoniac Skins, Mature Skin, Cover Khajiits.

SOS Full users: Grab the Tempered Skins config file made by afboak from his page!


Diverse Skyrim: Adds a bunch of new NPCs to leveled lists
Immersive Patrols: Adds faction patrols to populate the roads, and occasionally clash in large skirmishes
Interesting NPCs: Adds interesting NPCs.


Adding texture variants will not add more polygons to draw but it will add more data to be stored in your VRAM, so make sure you have some VRAM headroom. I'm on an 11GB 1080ti and I see no performance hit at all even in VR, but if you're already near your VRAM limit this may push you over the top. Note that most texture packs come with performance options, and I've tried to support this in the config files that I've made.


Q) I’m getting an error about failing to parse JSON. What do I do?
A) Your JSON file is in the wrong format. The warning should tell you which JSON file it is. Run it through an online parser such as this one and track down where the formatting error is. This should only happen if you manually edit one of the configuration files.

Q) I’m getting an error about ng-repeats when pulling up the GUI. What does this mean?
A) Did you edit an Asset Pack Settings file outside of the GUI? If so, did you copy any subgroups? If so, within the duplicated subgroup delete the “$hashKey” that’s automatically generated by zEdit when exporting to JSON. Duplicate hash keys are not allowed.

Q) I added a new asset pack but my NPCs aren’t using it after patching.
A) If consistency is enabled, you need to clear it. Otherwise, if your previous asset packs are still installed the patcher will assign them right back to those same NPCs, because that’s what consistency does.

Q) I’m getting an out of memory error during patching. What should I do?
A) I’ve only ever encountered this using developer mode, but it’s possible in standard zEdit if your config file is very complex and doesn’t have enough subgroup restrictions. Try identifying subgroups that can be linked together using RequireSubgroups/ExcludeSubgroups. That said, for large config files the patcher can use 1 to 3 GB of RAM, so keep that in mind.

Q) My NPCs are completely white/purple!
A) That’s the secret “Ghost” texture pack! ... kidding, did you remember to check (enable) the zEBD - Mod folder in the left panel of MO2? zEBD warns you if any of the file paths expected by the config file don’t exist, so this shouldn’t happen unless you ignore the warning.

Q) Can you make a config file for me?
A) You can make a pitch but no guarantee I'll have time to do it. I'm planning to do Masculine/Feminine Argonian/Khajiit soon by request from a Wabbajack author but otherwise no promises.

Q) Can you edit a config file for me to do X?
A) Please make tweaks to the config file yourself (and feel free to share them!)  I'm happy to answer questions about how to do it.

Q) Is this mod stable?
A) I think so, but I've only recently developed it so haven't had the chance to do a long playthrough. That said, all it does is provide data for the scripts in Everybody's Different Redone, which is a much more mature mod. I haven't seen any stability issues reported for it, and I don't believe this patcher can destabilize it.

Known issues

Aside from the compatibility section listed above, there's only one issue I'm aware of. After saving an Asset Pack Settings file or viewing a popup alert from a settings file, you can no longer edit any settings or save again until you minimize zEdit or alt+tab out of zEdit and bring it back up again.