An Existential Crisis

Location Stonegarden
Suggested Level 12
Next Quest  
Previous Quest  

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.

Instead of collecting the books for the answers, Crispin's questions can be solved with the following tags:

  1. Undead, Jester or Barbarian.
  2. Undead, Mystic or Outlaw.
  3. Undead, Scholar or Villian.

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.



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".
  • Additionally, a character with the Villain tag can answer the 3rd question as well without reading the 3rd book.


  • 9,650 XP upon quest completion.
  • Mass Corpse Explosion Skillbook will drop from Crispin's body upon successfully defeating him.
  • A large amount of gold and useful scrolls from his remain,



A Craftsman of Dreams and Nightmares  ♦  A Danger to Herself and Others  ♦  A Familiar Face  ♦  A Fate Worse Than Death  ♦  A Generous Offer  ♦  A Hunger From Beyond  ♦  A Hunter of Wicked Things  ♦  A King Reborn  ♦  A Man and His Dog  ♦  A Most Urgent Matter  ♦  A Prize Kill  ♦  A Rare Prey  ♦  A Taste of Freedom  ♦  A Trial for All Seasons  ♦  A Web of Desire  ♦  A Wolf Alone  ♦  Aggressive Takeover  ♦  All In The Family  ♦  Almira's Request  ♦  An Eye for an Eye  ♦  An Unlikely Patron  ♦  Artefacts of the Tyrant  ♦  Battle at the Gates  ♦  Bitter Tonic  ♦  Blessing from Afar  ♦  Blood Dowry  ♦  Bound by Pain  ♦  Burial Rites  ♦  Burying the Past  ♦  Business Rivals  ♦  Call to Arms  ♦  Champion of the Gods  ♦  Counting your Chickens  ♦  Crippling a Demon  ♦  Dark Dealings in the Blackpits  ♦  Delusions of Grandeur  ♦  Doctor's Orders  ♦  Drowning her Sorrows  ♦  Eithne the Trader  ♦  End Times  ♦  Escape from Fort Joy  ♦  Every Mother's Nightmare  ♦  Fane  ♦  Fane (Quest)  ♦  Finder's Fee  ♦  Finding Emmie  ♦  Finding Lord Arhu  ♦  Grebb the Scholar  ♦  Hammerfall  ♦  Healing Touch  ♦  Heroes' Rest  ♦  Hide & Seek  ♦  Hot Under the Collar  ♦  Infestation  ♦  Invaders  ♦  Keep Calm and Carrion  ♦  Lady o' War  ♦  Lost and Found  ♦  Love has a Price  ♦  Mercy is Power  ♦  Most Dangerous When Cornered  ♦  No Laughing Matter  ♦  No Way Out  ♦  Nothing But Child's Play  ♦  Old Flames  ♦  Old means Gold  ♦  On the Ropes  ♦  Opposites Attract  ♦  Past Mistakes  ♦  Popularity Contest  ♦  Powerful Awakening  ♦  Press-ganged  ♦  Proving Ground  ♦  Red Ink in the Ledger  ♦  Redemption  ♦  Running like Clockwork  ♦  Saheila's People  ♦  Saheila's Signet  ♦  School's Out  ♦  Seed of Power  ♦  Seeking Revenge  ♦  Shadow over Driftwood  ♦  Signs of Resistance  ♦  Silence Broken  ♦  Speaking in Forked Tongues  ♦  Strange Cargo  ♦  Stranger in a Strange Land  ♦  The Academy  ♦  The Advocate  ♦  The Arena of Fort Joy  ♦  The Arena of the One  ♦  The Armoury  ♦  The Bark's Bite  ♦  The Burning Pigs  ♦  The Burning Prophet  ♦  The Collar  ♦  The Consulate  ♦  The Covenant  ♦  The Cursed Ring  ♦  The Driftwood Arena  ♦  The Drowned Temple  ♦  The Druid  ♦  The Elven Seer  ♦  The Escape  ♦  The Eternal Worshipper  ♦  The Execution  ♦  The Forgotten and the Damned  ♦  The Gargoyle's Maze  ♦  The Imprisoned Elf  ♦  The Injured Magister  ♦  The Key to Freedom  ♦  The Last Stand of the Magisters  ♦  The Law of the Order  ♦  The Loremaster  ♦  The Merchant  ♦  The Midnight Oil  ♦  The Missing Magisters  ♦  The Missing Prisoners  ♦  The Mother Tree  ♦  The Murderous Gheist  ♦  The Nameless Isle  ♦  The Purged Dragon  ♦  The Reluctant Servants  ♦  The Sallow Man  ♦  The Secrets of Bloodmoon Island  ♦  The Secrets of the Dwarves  ♦  The Shakedown  ♦  The Shriekers  ♦  The Silent One  ♦  The Snoozing Adventurer  ♦  The Stoic Spirit  ♦  The Teleporter  ♦  The Three Altars  ♦  The Tribe of Saheila  ♦  The Ugly Little Bird  ♦  The Vault of Linder Kemm  ♦  The Watcher's Mercy  ♦  The Weaver  ♦  The Wrecked Caravan  ♦  They Shall Not Pass  ♦  Thinning the Herd  ♦  Threads of a Curse  ♦  To the Hall of Echoes  ♦  Treated Like Cattle  ♦  Troubled Waters  ♦  Unlikely Lovers  ♦  Unscholarly Pursuits  ♦  Up in the Clouds  ♦  Vengeance for the Fallen  ♦  What a Fuss to have Wrought  ♦  Window of Opportunity  ♦  Wishful Thinking  ♦  Withermoore's Soul Jar

Join the page discussion Tired of anon posting? Register!

    • Anonymous

      28 Mar 2021 09:31  

      be sure to pickpocket him lvl 4 recommended he has a bunch of blank scrolls, supernova, potions and around 8.3k i took it before finishing the quest because he will not drop all of his items upon completion

      • Anonymous

        29 Jan 2021 20:13  

        I can't find my book 1. I don't know who I sold to. 1. I have checked most of the merchants alive. I hope it is not sold to those who are not alive at the moment.

        • Anonymous

          20 Jan 2021 18:46  

          In DE, In all my play through, his corpse is always empty. The skill book is dropped on ground, not in corpse.

          • Anonymous

            28 Nov 2020 19:24  

            I am playing with Lohse as main character, so I had the tags required and only needed to find the third book, which is in Ryker's bedroom on second floor of his mansion. If anyone wonders, you can safely kill the two guards upstairs without others on ground floor reacting in any way after you've done so.

            • Anonymous

              31 Aug 2020 15:44  

              Just for documentation purpose, I guess. Obviously, spoiler warning, but I don't think the wiki supports spoiler format.

              [SCHOLAR] State that every culture and history has established its own code and ethics. Within those codes, right and wrong are strongly defined.

              • Anonymous

                07 May 2020 06:55  

                DE: Checking his inventory in the trade window before succeeding at the questions dropped his gold (9k for me) and items. No pickpocket needed. I wasted a while manually searching Stonegarden because the listed coordinates look like they're in the Blackpits but they're correct, just off to the side.

                • Anonymous

                  04 Apr 2020 21:50  

                  I can't find the 3rd book. I have the first 2 but the 3rd is not on or near the bed. I have looted and killed most of the house... I also don't have anyone with the traits to pass the 3rd question without the book. Another bug? This is the newer special edition of the game

                  • Anonymous

                    23 Feb 2020 12:36  

                    After you read the three books, you'll have the right dialogue options available to choose: Q. Our purpose in life. A: "State that is no greater purpose than to banish life's tumult in the pursuit of pleasure". Q: Is there such thing as fre will? A: "State that our individual freedoms are limited only by physical limitations. We are free to act within a defined set of rules". Q: Is there a difference between right and wrong? A: "Reply that morality is a river, steered by the impulses of men and women, Gods and Goddesses, chance and nature".

                    • Anonymous

                      03 Sep 2019 15:44  

                      If you have the Villain tag, that response works for the third question, so Lohse can answer all three without books

                      • Anonymous

                        01 Sep 2019 15:30  

                        As someone else said, pickpocket him (don't need to take anything just see his inventory) befor answering his questions for a bunch of extra loot.

                        • Anonymous

                          07 Apr 2019 05:28  

                          randomly asnwer 3-3-3 in under 3secons after opening the books, not even reading it, and obviously didn't read the multitiple answers either, i just relay on my luck, and it's my first time doing it. lol and the achievement popped up. im using sebille, just hero no tags whatsoever.

                          • Anonymous

                            20 Jan 2019 19:44  

                            I guessed the answers. They were longer answers and expressed a more thorough understanding of the questions. With that in mind you should be able to half-ass this quest. Still read the 3 books in Rykar's mansion though.

                            • Anonymous

                              29 Dec 2018 11:34  

                              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

                                14 Dec 2018 19:51  

                                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

                                  05 Nov 2018 23:53  

                                  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 10:18  

                                    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 16:28  

                                      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.

                                    Load more
                                    ⇈ ⇈