It's a bit funny that I first acquired Runebound and after buying almost every expansion for Runebound, I bought Talisman, the spiritual ancestor of Runebound.
But this is not a thread about Talisman vs Runebound. I love both games and greatly enjoy randomness and simplicity of Talisman and its gameplay. The only thing I dislike is the official ending, in which a character kills off his competition by casting the Spells of Command, I found it to be quite tedious and time consuming way to end the game.
So I pondered a bit and created the Spell of Mastery (for those of you who are familiar with the term, yes I'm a big MOM fan, and for those of you who are not http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_of_Magic) ending.
The change is that when a character enters the Crown of Command.
He casts the Spell of Mastery instead of Spell of Command. He does so by rolling a die. If he roles a Talisman(1) he wins the game in glorious manner by casting the Spell of Mastery, I find it to be quite fitting that a game that greatly depends on a roll of the die ends in the same manner.
If there are 2 or more characters on the Crown of Command they do not fight each other, but must try to cast the Spell Of Mastery on their turn.
I have only the base game and currently there are two way to "slow down" a player that is trying to Cast the Spell Of Mastery.
First is to turn him into a Toad, while he is a Toad he cannot cast the spell.
Second is that when the player casts the Spell of Mastery(rolls 1) another player casts Counterspell thus negating the casting of Spell of Mastery that turn.
A player who is attempting to cast Spell of Mastery may use fate once per turn to reroll if he did not succeed.
I currently played 5 games with this variant and found it to be quite exhilarating. Basically, the effect is that, when a player enters the Crown of Command he exits the normal gameflow, and is limited to only rolling for victory, thus quickening the game for other players who are not on the Crown of Command. It is a quite exciting buildup for the ending, and it is especially sweet when you succeed to cast the Spell of Mastery from your first attempt...and win the game in a glorious manner...