The Elder Scrolls

Adventures in creating a custom race mod and somehow breaking the game.

Content of the article: "Adventures in creating a custom race mod and somehow breaking the game."

General overview: An attempt at making a custom race mod, and fixing a horrible neck seam/overlap that somehow broke things.

Obligatory first post notice…

What I was trying to do was create my own fox person race mod, failing that modify an existing one. I initially tried to port the MaTera from Oldrim over, but couldn't get that to stop crashing. Yes, I took the proper steps opening it in the CK to change the version, and SSE nif optimizer. Though, this isn't about help with that. After about a day and a half of trying different things to get that to work, I gave up and looked at the existing race for SSE, The Fennec. I tried to change the tail to a custom HDT enabled tail (Inari HDT tails, specifically) and the texture of the body. I settled on two different textures. Not merging them, but two options.

The textures from the MaTera mod and the the body textures from the Vulpine Race for Fallout 4. Both worked in both the CK and the game with no problems. However, there was a horrible overlap between the head and body. From poking around in the Fennec Race mod in SSE Edit, it's clear the author copied a Khajiit and modified it, which was going to be the route I took if I had to make it myself anyways. I am using the custom UNP body mod, so that could be the reason for the overlap…

Now the problem. When I tried to load the head into Outfit Studio and see if I could deform the mesh, it loaded in at below roughly where the feet would be. Experimenting around with moving a body mesh down and deforming/editing the head mesh, then exporting the result…led to my current situation. Loading the original mesh into 3DS Max, which seemed to automatically bring the head up to where it should have been, exporting that, then editing it also in Outfit Studio…Seemed to work, but only in the CK. The overlap was gone, and it looked good…but when I loaded into the game, it wasn't happy. It led to this mess.

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What is happening is that either upon selecting the race in race menu (not the mod, but I do have that installed), it sometimes crashed after selecting it. When it didn't crash however, I could play the game as normal up until needing to reload a save. Or exiting the game and relaunching it.. Then it froze at a black screen, went not responding and I had to summon uncle task manager to quit. This was every time I tried to load a save. Reverting to a save made right before the race change, in the same area had no problems whatsoever.

Steps I've taken to troubleshoot this and other notes:

  • No errors in the warnings dialogue within the CK were noted related to the edit of the head.
  • I've made sure everything is updated. Steam, Skyrim SE, all my mods, and even as far as all system drivers and the OS.
  • I ripped out all the mods I was using and purged about a solid 10-15% of them I thought may be script heavy.
  • I restarted with new saves (not clean saves, straight up deleted the contents of the save folder) both before and after the mod purge.
  • Verified files through Steam multiple times.
  • In the CK, this mesh edit appeared without a problem, which surprised me considering how the game took it.
  • I put the original head mesh back in, which was the only thing that seemed to work to fix this, but that defeated the whole point of this mod.
  • SKSE logs don't tell me much, same goes for the editor warnings file.
  • Though, I did note an error about missing a facegen tint map, but in what little experience I have, that shouldn't be enough to cause the mod to be unplayable.
  • Every mod has been cleaned with SSE Edit and verified there are no major conflicts manually.
  • And of course, the load order has been sorted.
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I did note that poking at Crimes against Nature, it assigned the creature tails as a headpart, whereas the Khajiit used an armor addon, which is also what I did.

Not sure if that is why, but thought I'd include it anyways.

Links that may be needed:

Mods I am utilizing in the creation of this mod: (Not too worried about permissions currently, as it's personal use only right now)

Note on the vulpine, only the textures were used not the models, they were exported via and compressed for SSE. My mod itself, if you need it to figure out what's going on, please PM me, as if I were to post it here, that may qualify as a public release.

Tools I've been using:

  • SSE Edit
  • Creation Kit 2.0 (obviously)
  • with DDS plugin
  • 3DS Max 2018 with updated Nif plugin.
  • Outfit Studio
  • Bodyslide

I'll note I consider my self fairly inexperienced compared to significantly more advanced modders out there, so feel free to tell what I've done wrong.

Apologies if it's a lot to read, but I'm trying to be as detailed as possible.

I work in IT, so I hate when someone's being generic and have to spend hours troubleshooting something that would have taken minutes if they told me exactly what was going on.

Read:  Could anyone help?

If I have missed something, please do tell me and I'll get on it.


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