Skyrim Special Edition

About this mod

A "vanilla remixed" building and interior remodel for ONLY Riverwood while all other farmhouses stay the same! (The first image is a comparison gif.)

Permissions and credits
Note: Some screenshots and description points may be outdated, as of 2023 I have split the mod into a simple Base Object Swapper light version, with a heavier town overhaul descended from the screenshots still undergoing a full reconstruction and not yet playable.

This is a mod in a similar vein to, and directly inspired by, the likes of Rodryk's Dragon Bridge and The Great Villages series. I'm not as talented as those modders but used that to my advantage to make something more "Vanilla Plus" and generally lightweight. Rather than a total revamp where building footprint, quests and performance are totally changed, Riverwood is much the same, but cosmetically unique from Skyrim's other villages.

Hence the name 'Unique Culture Riverwood' - Riverwood is now a fusion of Whiterun, Falkreath and Cyrodiil cultures in that order.

Very quick feature summary is that it changes Riverwood's buildings on the outside, and optionally remodels interiors and adds two buildings.

  • New farmhouse variant that only Riverwood uses, for variety.
  • Remodelled interiors while keeping the same furniture and markers for compatibility.
  • Sleeping Giant Inn and some houses have a unique ceiling to fit Riverwood's new lower roofs. Compatible with Sleeping Giant overhauls.
  • Sensible village expansion that adds a bakery...
  • ...and a small bunkhouse for temporary workers.
  • Integrates DLC content like the Hearthfire oven and baked goods.
  • Four inconsequential, killable, minor NPCs. The baker (merchant), two lumberjacks and the bunkhouse hired cook.
  • The lumberjacks will leave the bunkhouse to go walk or help Faendal most weekdays.
  • Moves Riverwood's barely used side wall to a more sensible location.
  • Combination of vanilla and compressed custom textures, meshes optimised with Cathedral Assets Optimiser.

So what's actually cosmetically different?
  • Roof is flatter at the top, rounder at the sides and shorter overall.
  • Uses unique thatch texture.
  • Top support beam is straighter and flatter, with longer sharper ends.
  • Wood walls are swapped for Whiterun-styled plaster.
  • Some stone walls are painted to match and are slightly flatter.
  • Rope fences are subtly less saggy and wood fences less wonky.
  • Long and rectangular lattice windows, compared to vanilla's multiple square panels.

NEW Nordic Forest Alt
  • Materials swaps inside and out for primarily wooden construction.
  • No plaster for those who felt it a little too Cyrodiilic.
  • New custom thatch textures with earthy brown thatch and visible wood support beams.
  • Wood support posts use my warm pine log texture from my Falkreath mod.
  • Retains the feature that only Riverwood is affected, so this is an entirely legitimate option for your personal taste.

  • Since the mod is now totally reinvented, the light version is mostly "done" and no longer needs the

  • The collision of some roofs doesn't line up but I'm figuring it out. 99% of the time you're not standing on Sven's roof anyway.

[16GB RAM, i7 6700K, AMD RX480 8GB]
Using a modlist containing texture mods and flora like S3D landscapes. I openly admit this isn't very standardised and will vary by specs, modlist e.t.c. but just to give you an idea of installing onto an already modded game:
Average FPS without any Riverwood mods
 69 (nice)
Average FPS with Unique Culture Riverwood
Average FPS for JK's Skyrim for comparison

Consider that texture mods can affect this mod's performance. I used some occlusion volumes so certain angles will actually perform better than before, but only in very specific spots. [2023: Not in the new light version, but the lack of worldspace edits should equal vanilla performance.]

Note 2023: Outdated, because the light version now has theoretically flawless mod compatibility while the in-dev large version will call for a review of these.

The Notice Boards - The inn's horizontal dimensions are identical so won't swallow any message board mod.
Immersive Encounters
Scamps SE
JK's Sleeping Giant Inn - Specifcally designed to work with it, hence why the inn is barely changed.
SMIM - My meshes are separate.
Every texture mod - I now use a few unique textures so use any texture mods you want.
Cities of the North, The Great Towns, Rodryk's Dragon Bridge. - Not only do they work, but I'd recommend using them as companion mods!
Cities of the North Falkreath - My idea of what "Falkreath culture" even looks like is based largely on it, so not only can you use the two mods together but I encourage it! JPSteel is also the reason I can't call my mods just "JP's".
Riverwood Keep - Works with the current versions, unsure about future updates.
Various Riverwood bridge mods - Considered replacing the bridge but decided to let you choose whatever bridge mod you want!
JK's Skyrim - Has a patch for a clipping cart, and remodels that section of docks.
JK's Riverwood Standalone - No current patch for JK's Riverwood standalone, but the only conflict is that one cart so feel free to do 'disable' command.
JK's Riverfall Cottage - Totally fine as it's located way down river.
Ideal Riverwood aka T'Skyrim Riverwood - The cart conflict is fixed by JK Skyrim patch, but Ideal Riverwood edits the entrance to Riverwood Trader so you will spawn in the wall, just hold W and you'll pop back through. I'm currently conflicted as this is the mod I use right now, but it's not actively updated and I wonder if I should just do my own equivalents to what it adds while negating the need for a patch.
Expanded Towns and Cities (SSE) - Corner of the Bunkhouse had floating ivy and Basil's house clipped, there's a patch!
Farmhouse Chimneys SE - Fine since they're anchored to the farm walls, not the roof.
Medieval Lanterns/Lanterns of Skyrim II - Nothing game-breaking but there was a few floating lanterns, patches available.
Lux - An issue of some kind, I've not had time to investigate yet sorry.
JK's Riverwood Trader - Fairly sure it'll cause physics explosions and bad clipping. However I massively improved my own interior in an update.


Possible other mods in this series in order of likelihood:
Falkreath - Done. A minimal ESP-Light mod a lot like this one. Though even I myself use JPSteel2's mod instead.
Stonehills - (It's larger in Cutting Room Floor.) I figured it's way more minor than Riverwood, nobody ever goes there. Though now I wonder if I could make it cool enough to make it worth visiting, and I'm tempted again.
Heljarchen - Maybe, but it's way more minor than Riverwood, you might never go there.
Morthal - I was tempted, and have been asked more than once, but there's other really nice town remodels (Redbag's and COTN).
Rorikstead - Wanted to but Redbag did it first and I don't really want to compete with other, probably superior, mods.
Helgen - I would love to do a unique Helgen, but it's very complex under the hood: covered in triggers and referenced by many scripts and quests.
Dragon's Bridge - Has two lovely remodels already. First is Rodryk's Dragon bridge and the second is Simplicity of Settlements - Dragon Bridge - Base Object Swapper which has a very similar concept to my light version and you may enjoy it.

See permissions box for credits

Feel free to use this as a resource.
I see many mods using the vanilla farmhouses, so if you want to use my edits for variety go for it and have fun! Just credit if you remember to. You should also credit CaBaL120 too if you reuse my textures. Be sure to track the mod for model improvements!
Feel free to make your own patches, retextures and addons, if you want to.