Hobby Games: The 100 Best, which consists of 100 articles by various industry veterans. Since most of these articles dedicate at least a page to the game's mechanics and the interesting/unique effects those mechanics create, it's a great source of inspiration.
At this point, the ideas are crystallizing into something that could be really elegant. The items on this list in bold are ones I've currently decided to use.
-Scheme cards in your hand can never be used directly. They always have to be played face-down during your turn, attached to a pawn or plot. (I actually came up with this back when I was writing the earlier post on this game, and revised some of the description accordingly)
-During your turn you invest some form of "currency" (points you gain and/or spend during the game) in your pawns, and regain those points at the start of your next turn- if the pawn is still alive.
-At the start of each round, a number of pawns are laid out equal to the number of players. Players bid for the pawns they want, and no one can receive more than one.
-At the end of each round, players secretly bid a currency in an attempt to gain the king's favor, which probably means you receive victory points.
-The turn order varies randomly each round.
-Combining elements of the above three: Lay out 1 pawn per player, then secretly bid Turn Points to determine turn order. At the start of your turn, pick a pawn for free.
-Scheme cards can be discarded from your hand during your turn to gain extra turn points.
-Paranoia scores come in pairs; the second, presumably lower number being used when the pawn is occupied.
-Event cards are revealed at the start of the *previous* round, giving everyone a turn to prepare.
-Assassination attempts against unoccupied pawns cause you to lose victory points equal to the amount by which their Paranoia exceeds your plot's cunning (assuming it does so).