I'm working on a sci-fi/fantasy world set in a solar system with a few habital, currently-being-colonized planets. Most of the action will be taking place on the surface of one of them, but I want background detail to add to the setting and give me info for future developments.
I was wondering if a solar system could exist with massive amounts of natural debris and dust, such as asteroid belts and the like, that affected space travel in such a way that ships couldn't accelerate too fast for fear of losing maneuverability and hitting something. I'm talking dense. This would also add an element of uncertainty and surprise to space battles, as normally you would be able to see your opponent from far away using sensors, but in the dust and debris, stealth would be much more feasible.
On another note, I want a Star Trek or Mass Effect kind of ship handling, and to me, imposing this sort of speed limit will help with that. Any suggestions along that vein would be most appreciated too!
EDIT: Wow, didn't expect so many helpful responses, especially on my first post ever! You guys are making my life a lot easier. I'm leaning toward a debris disk/field right now, as that seems perfect for what I had in mind.
For additional info, the reason that there are people in this solar system is that that's where life appeared, and as they haven't developed FTL tech, they're basically stuck there. I think I'll call the system and the star Apex. The 'homeworld' colonizes a couple other planets in the system, and after a civil war between the colonies, one of them suffers orbital bombardment, plunging the few survivors into a post-apocalyptic mess hundreds of millions of kilometers from home.