I redid the rules a bit to Gauntlet of Fools, splitting the game into 3 rounds, each with a boasting phase as usual, followed by a shortened gauntlet phase of only 16 cards (out of the 50 provided).
The main change is that if your hero survives the Gauntlet, they obviously made a pact with the devil and are hanged as a witch, forfeiting any gold collected that round.
This is then repeated two more times with a new set of heroes and a new deck of 16 encounter cards each time. After that, the gold from the 3 rounds is totaled and the player with the most wins.
I think this variant has many advantages:
For one, 3X the boasting. HUZZAH!
Also, the survival penalty encourages more boasting. It will probably take a while to find the right balance, but the rounds are shorter so it speeds up that learning process. More boasts must be made to ensure your hero's demise.
Because there are 3 rounds, there are also 3X the number of hero/weapon combinations seen, adding to the variety. With 400 possible combinations, it would take over 60 games to have the chance of seeing all of them. Now it only takes about 20.
The shorter gauntlet means the down time after player elimination is reduced.
The survival penalty also encourages the eliminated players to root for the success of the remaining player (because if they survive, they lose their gold for the round) keeping them at least a little involved.
Finally, with 3 rounds of 16 gauntlet cards there are 2 random cards that aren't used in each game (48 out of 50 cards) adding some mystery. Granted, with hastened death there are bound to be cards used that are never encountered.
This does lengthen the game just a bit because you have 3 rounds of boasting instead of 1, but the game overall I think is a richer experience.