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I want to create a homebrew feature that will allow a character to take specific action on advantageous modifiers when lacking in primary means (low ability score or lacking skill/tool proficiency)

I considered using existing features' wording as replacement, but they come with limitations, and narratively such feature should be an attack. Examples of limitations would be "make an ability check using your spellcasting ability" from Counterspell that doesn't add proficiency modifier or any "Roll d20" which couldn't be modified at all.

What changes when I substitute an attack in place of ability check, other than obvious different ability and proficiency modifiers? What mechanics apply to one, but not the other?

Example 1:

Class feature that modifies shove special attack

Eldritch Bash

You can use a bonus action to try to shove a creature within 5 feet of you with your shield, making Melee Spell Attack instead of Strength (Athletics) check against opponent's Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check, not their AC.

Example 2: Class feature / feat that allows lockpicking with fist rather than doing Dexterity (Thieves' Tools) check.

Percussive Lockpicking

As an action you can make an unarmed attack against lock, treating lockpicking DC as AC. On hit the lock opens.

(example phrasing subject to change)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Please help me with better language to convey that attack is not made against AC but "usual" DC / contest. \$\endgroup\$ – Krzysztof Skibiński Jan 15 at 11:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ To close- and down-voters: How to make this question more precise? Is an attack a check, or only similar to a check? seems similar and points to basics, yet I'm asking for details. I did not include research as it's an answer in itself,. \$\endgroup\$ – Krzysztof Skibiński Jan 16 at 6:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think answering your own question in this situation muddies the waters - what your asking needs clarification, and your own "answer" doesn't seem to actually answer anything. \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Jan 28 at 15:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @T.J.L.The paragraph before examples are two wordings of the same question and my answer addresses them. Preceeding explanation "what I want" was added in edit, as it was sitting dead at -1. \$\endgroup\$ – Krzysztof Skibiński Jan 29 at 6:18
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Advantage and disadvantage is easier to come with attack than ability checks

Being prone is the simplest example that causes disadvantage on attack but doesn't affect ability checks.

There are spells that add a bonus to different rolls

Guidance affects only ability checks, Bless doesn't, but works on attacks.

The attack will not be able to do damage

Dealing damage when not intended should not be an issue, as per Can other damage (from class abilities/feats) be added to net attacks?

Magical or damaged weapons will affect the roll

Or Wand of the War Mage would affect spell attack rolls

Spell attacks won't work in antimagic field

Spell attacks are considered magical (How do I know if an ability is magical?) which Antimagic field suppresses

No official material can double profficiency in weapons or spells

Unlike Rogue's Expertise

Cover applies to attacks only

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