When casting a ranged spell within melee reach of an enemy, if the spell doesn't require a ranged attack roll, are there any downsides (assuming the enemy doesn't have the Mage Slayer feat)?
Originally, when I read this:
Ranged Attacks in Close Combat
Aiming a ranged attack is more difficult when a foe is next to you. When you make a ranged attack with a weapon, a spell, or some other means, you have disadvantage on the attack roll if you are within 5 feet of a hostile creature who can see you and who isn’t incapacitated.
I thought all ranged spells were at a disadvantage or somehow penalised when cast in melee range of an enemy. But then I read this:
If there’s ever any question whether something you’re doing counts as an attack, the rule is simple: if you’re making an attack roll, you’re making an attack.
And I'm thinking that, since non-attack spells don't make attack rolls, there's no disadvantage to be had. So, unless I'm missing something, there's really no penalty to casting non-attack ranged spells within reach of an enemy.