The Black Void though has no chance involved and it actually punishes the goal of the game "to be the FIRST player to reach the crown"
I just wish they would have put at least a small chance of making it out alive. What do you guys think of this ending does it fit in with the rest of the Talisman game design?
First off, there is a chance, that the first player reaching the CoC does NOT find the HBV there. Currently there are what, close to 10 (?) endings you can use as hidden. I personally use six (Crown and Sceptre, Hand of Doom, Battle Royale, Ice Queen, Eagle King and HBV), mainly A) because the Werewolf is very much like the IQ/EK, but no option to get out of the CoC if you made it that far, whereas IQ/EK allow/force you to leave and B), can shuffle the endings and roll a D6, flipping over that ending once a character reaches the CoC. Only then, because the backs of the ending cards don't match up and you could tell from which expansion the ending at the CoC is. So unless you are choosing the Hidden ending and choosing HBV, there is a chance that the ending is not HBV, just that the chance occurs during setup (if you place the ending card at that time). With say 10 hidden endings, 1/10 chance of the first ending being HBV, at least by math, Murphy's Law tends to work wonders .
Second, for me, HBV is the greatest card ever made. Not only greatest ending or greatest Talisman card, any card and game, all of time included. We had the Adventure expansion for the 2nd edition, which originally introduced HBV and have been pining for this ending since the 4th came out. Much like the Raiders (sadly, RAW, nerfed) used to be the great equalizer, whoosh, all your gold and Objects gone, can't do anything about it, same goes for HBV. I'd like to see more cards like the Basilisk who can kill any character and barring spells or evade, there is nothing you can do about its ability, if it rolls doubles in battle, you're dead, end of story. One of the key things that pushes the Reaper expansion to the top, even though Blood Moon gave it a run for its money, is that the Reaper can kill you with a single roll, whereas the Werewolf is rather toothless. Reaper too is a catch-up mechanic, if one player is in the lead, have the others make the Reaper hunt him down.
Yes, Talisman's goal is to reach the CoC, but I always refer to Talisman as a race game, just one where the first player over the finish line (reach CoC) does not win. One of the plays this month, Rogue reached the CoC first (playing default CoC ending), but then got Curse of the Werewolf cast on her and ended up getting killed. Grave Robber reached the CoC second, but the Warlock, thanks to spell-cycling two Healing spells, then spell-cycling during their battle at the CoC, ended up winning, being the third and last person to reach the CoC.