What is the proper way to refer to non-spell attacks in D&D 5e? "Non-spell" attacks doesn't seem right.
I'm looking for a term that includes attacks made with a melee weapon, a ranged weapon, an improvised weapon, and unarmed strikes.
Attacks that are not "spell attacks" are necessarily "weapon attacks".
Even attacks that aren't made with a weapon can be weapon attacks.
Jeremy Crawford, lead rules designer of Dungeons & Dragons, confirmed on Twitter that "every attack is either a weapon attack or a spell attack."
All the given examples are considered 'weapon attacks'.
Even unarmed strikes are considered melee weapon attacks; see the following quote from the Sage Advice Compendium:
Some attacks count as a melee or ranged weapon attack even if a weapon isn’t involved, as specified in the text of those attacks. For example, an unarmed strike counts as a melee weapon attack, even though the attacker’s body isn’t considered a weapon.
Ultimately, there are (currently) only two types of attacks: spell attacks and weapon attacks. Everything that isn't a spell attack is a weapon attack, and vice versa.
If I understand it correctly, there are weapon attacks and there are spell attacks and that covers all attacks. So if an attack isn't one, it's the other.
This is correct: every attack is either a weapon attack or a spell attack. #DnD