An Existential Crisis

Location Stonegarden
Suggested Level 12
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An Existential Crisis is a Quest in Divinity: Original Sin II. Digging up the corpse of Crispin, a self-proclaimed philosopher, he challenges you to a battle of wits. Can you win?



Important NPCs

  • Crispin



An Existential Crisis Objectives

  1. Dig up Crispin's grave.
  2. Prepare to answer his questions.
  3. Defeat him in a battle of wits.



An Existential Crisis Walkthrough

At Stonegarden, you will hear a voice calling for help (co-ordinates: X:625, Y:153). He begs you to dig him up. Agree to do so.

After you dig him up, a skeleton named Crispin will appear, claiming to be a philosopher, and challenges you to a duel of wits. At this point, if the character talking to him is not an Undead, you will need to do some preparation to win. Otherwise, feel free to engage him in the battle immediately.

He will have three questions. Answering any question wrongly will ultimately result in your character being killed instantly (he will still ask you 3 questions but you will lose at the end). The most common way to win for non-undead characters is to read The Essence of Existence, Volume One, Volume Two, and Volume Three to defeat him.

If your character is an undead, however, simply pick the [UNDEAD] tagged answers for all 3 questions and you will win (Fane will also suffice for this). It is also possible to answer question 1 correctly as a Jester or a Barbarian, question 2 as a Mystic or Outlaw, and question 3 as a Scholar - the tagged dialogue option will appear and it will constitute as a right answer. Unfortunately, due to the inability of any character to have all 3 tags, reading at least one book will still be required. Volume 1 will have the answer to the first question, Volume 2 the answer to the second question, and Volume 3, the answer to the third question.

Warning: Each character only gets one chance, so unless you have an undead character, do not keep blindly trying. Continue on with the quest below to find the solutions, or else it may become impossible to complete the quest.

Tip: You will need to actually read the books and take some notes, as there aren't any clearly defined dialogue options that appear after reading them. If you've read all three books, the answers should generally become Option 3 for each question, assuming you don't have any particular tags.

You can find all 3 tomes at Ryker's mansion, as detailed in the picture below. Volume 1 is found where Ryker is, in his study. Volume 2 is found in the living room on the bottom floor. Finally, Volume 3 can be found on the 2nd floor, in his bedroom. Note that taking the books is considered stealing, and to get into the bedroom on the 2nd floor will require lockpicking.

If you answered question 1 correctly, you will see the skeleton shivering. If you answered question 2 correctly, he will exclaim, "Oh. Oh Gods, I... I can hardly bear to..." If you answered all 3 questions correctly, he will say, "Nnnnggghh! I can't bear this... this existential agony" and explode into a pile of bones.

Answering all 3 questions correctly will thus result in a successful completion of the quest, granting 16,150XP and dropping a Mass Corpse Explosion Skillbook from Crispin's body.


Tips & Tricks:

  • Fane, as an Undead, can answer every question properly if you can't find the books.
  • Lohse can answer question 1 (Jester) and 2 (Mystic) , but for the third question you will still need the book "The Essence of Existence, Volume Three". It's next to the bed in a room with a cat and a dog on the first floor in Ryker's house. See the picture above for details. Likewise, Sebille can answer question 2 (Outlaw) and 3 (Scholar), requiring you to only need to read "The Essence of Existence, Volume One".



  • 16,150XP upon quest completion.
  • Mass Corpse Explosion Skillbook will drop from Crispin's body upon successfully defeating him.

    • Anonymous

      29 Dec 2018 17:34  

      For Anyone still playing this game.... for the third answer you reply exactly what he says before he has the chance to finish. (I believe it’s The one about gods and such...) If you wait until after he finishes talking to reply he blows you up.

      • Anonymous

        15 Dec 2018 01:51  

        Someone should try the Villian tag for question 3 because it worked for me. Sadly I was Jester and Scholar so I still needed a book but I think you can succeed if you have followed a set path.

        • Anonymous

          06 Nov 2018 05:53  

          Don't know why but my after I killed Ryker and take all his books, the books don't show up in my inventory. Now I can't complete this quest

          • Anonymous

            30 Jul 2018 16:18  

            You can complete this quest without reading books, and being undead if you have 3 following tags on 1 character : Barbarian, Mystic , Villan.

            • Anonymous

              14 Jun 2018 22:28  

              In a hilarious turn of events, I blindly picked the options I thought would be wittiest (finally making use of Beast's Barbarian tag) and won the duel. I recognized the answer to question 3 from The Essence of Existence, but only from reading the article did I notice the book was related to the duel. Or that you'd straight up die from failing. 10/10, favorite quest so far.

              • Anonymous

                20 Apr 2018 04:49  

                Try to steal from him while one of your characters talks with him. First time i tried it he only dropped the Mass Explosion book. On the second attempt after stealing and answering the questions he also dropped a bunch of gold as well as a few skill books. (Requires Thievery 3)

                • Anonymous

                  06 Apr 2018 19:54  

                  you can sneak read Volume two by having multiple party members simultaneously engage in conversation with the masked servants. You make them turn away from the Volume to speak with you and then have once character sneak and read/steal the book.

                  • Anonymous

                    18 Mar 2018 08:42  

                    I'm guessing I have to do this quest after I kill Ryker, yeah? Attempting to steal/lock pick with the servants around is impossible. Fane, tragically, did not survive the journey to Reaper's Coast.

                    • Anonymous

                      13 Mar 2018 23:39  

                      Ignore my previous comment about Mass Corpse Explosion not dropping on version The book dropped BESIDE the corpse instead of on it.

                      • Anonymous

                        13 Mar 2018 23:38  

                        On version, I did not get Mass Corpse Explosion. Instead I got something much weaker; I think it was Conjure Incarnate?

                        • Anonymous

                          28 Dec 2017 22:35  

                          Lohse with Villian Tag will be able to answer all 3 questions without reading any of the books (Essence of Existence)
                          1) Jester
                          2) Mystic
                          3) Villian

                          • Anonymous

                            24 Oct 2017 07:09  

                            I have read the books, and still got blow up no matter which answer I chose in the third question, yes, another day, another bug. The correct order for the first two question is 3, 3. Such a stupid quest system.

                            • Anonymous

                              01 Oct 2017 06:25  

                              You don't require lockpicking to get into the second floor bedroom; with a high enough wit you will find the key in the talking painting beside the door.

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