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.

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,

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    • Anonymous

      28 Mar 2021 15:31  

      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

        30 Jan 2021 02:13  

        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

          21 Jan 2021 00:46  

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

          • Anonymous

            29 Nov 2020 01:24  

            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 21:44  

              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 12:55  

                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

                  05 Apr 2020 03:50  

                  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 18:36  

                    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 21:44  

                      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 21:30  

                        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 11:28  

                          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

                            21 Jan 2019 01:44  

                            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 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.

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