I realise that despite wanting to use cards instead of dice, and enjoying the symbolism that they bring, I have no idea of how to incorporate them. My mind jumped straight into trick-taking and competitive modes that just won’t work with what I have in mind. That in turn makes me wonder… what DO I have in mind? What do Princesses do and what do Retinue do? How do the Retinue help their Princess? In an actual conflict/scene, how do things work?
In my mind, there are basically a variety of scene types and you cycle through those in an average session. These are:
Challenge Scenes: These are the ones that drive the overall story of the Princesses. They probably only happen once a session, and the outcome changes the Princess and it affects the traits of the Queen.
Support Scenes: These are where the Retinue characters get to come into their own, and they depict some of the behind-the-scenes stuff that goes on to help out their Princess. However I think they can also be used to pursue their own agendas.
Conflict Scenes: These are pretty much everything else, The name is probably a bit wrong because obviously not every scene is required to include conflict. I imagine that over the course of several of these scenes, the Princess would muster resources and steer toward the Challenge.
So how do I have a mechanic that works toward/within that structure, allows the Princess to shine, allows the Retinue to be useful, allows the traits of the Queen to affect Challenges and provides for interesting longer-term play with a definite endgame?