What is name this theme?
Isn't nodebb-theme-persona not "traditional" enough? U have some additional settings to change the look eg. show sub categories in the categories view.
You also could browse Themes at npmjs.com
May you find some theme what fit ur needs.
The power of nodebb in my opinion is the possibility to customize it as you want. As the slogan says "we're building communities" you have to put in some efforts to get a unique BB that fits your need for your community.
use vanilla theme