Disarming in D&D seems to be very trivial, as explained in this question. Rules as Written, disarming a creature does not prevent them from attacking you with that weapon on their turn as they can use their free object interaction to pick it up and take the Attack action with that weapon. To me, this seems like Disarm was added in as an afterthought, it appears to be near-useless because the disarmed creature can pick up their weapon immediately on their turn.
Others have suggested creating a homebrew rule that allows for Opportunity Attacks against a creature that tries to pick up a disarmed weapon in combat.
Although, whilst both of these options serve to make disarming a creature more beneficial to the disarmer, one of them isn’t an official rule and the other isn’t exactly intuitive, forcing you to use your own interaction just to prevent the opponent from using theirs on their turn.
However, what if there already was a rule that made disarm better, but it was simply overlooked? If “searching for a disarmed weapon” was a feature of the Search action, all of a sudden Disarm becomes significantly more useful. If in order for a disarmed opponent to use their object interaction to pick their weapon up, they first had to use the Search action to find it, this would prevent them from taking the Attack action on that same turn, as per the action economy.
Now, an opponent still could attack instead of searching for their missing weapon; however the disarmed weapon would likely be their main one, meaning future attacks will likely do less damage (e.g. losing their 1d8 rapier and instead using their backup weapon, a 1d4 dagger). Essentially though, disarming your opponent might allow you to avoid, or at least reduce, their damage on their next turn.
As far as I am aware, there is no mention of the Search action being used in this way. However, the wording of the Search action would seem to allow for this and again, as far as I am aware, there is no published list of examples for what a Search action can or can’t be used for.
So, my question is:
What are the ramifications of requiring a creature who has been disarmed having to Search for their weapon before being allowed to use an object interaction to pick it up?
Many people seem to be under the assumption that you would have to make some kind of check to find your weapon. At no point did I mention this; I suggested simply using the Search action - not using the Search action and then making a check to see if you find it or not, as that would be ridiculous, as has been pointed out in several comments.
The Search action states:
When you take the Search action, you devote your attention to finding something. Depending on the nature of your search, the DM might have you make a Wisdom (Perception) check or an Intelligence (Investigation) check.
The use of the word “might” implies they may force you to make a check, or they may choose not to make you roll a check - the fact that you used an action is enough.
So, to reiterate, under this proposed resolution, you would not need to make a check to find a disarmed weapon after taking the Search action. As soon as you take the Search action, you would find the weapon and could then pick it up with an Object Interaction.