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From the Player's Handbook, Chapter 10:

Saving Throws

Many spells specify that a target can make a saving throw to avoid some or all of a spell’s effects. The spell specifies the ability that the target uses for the save and what happens on a success or failure.
The DC to resist one of your spells equals 8 + your spellcasting ability modifier + your proficiency bonus + any special modifiers.

The bold part makes me think that only some spells need the targets to roll a saving throw, like Burning Hands.

A creature takes 3d6 fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

But some spells don't say any of that, like Scorching Ray.

You create three rays of fire and hurl them at targets within range. You can hurl them at one target or several.
Make a ranged spell attack for each ray. On a hit, the target takes 2d6 fire damage.
At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, you create one additional ray for each slot level above 2nd.

Should the target(s) roll a saving throw for spells like Scorching Ray?

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marked as duplicate by kviiri, Community Feb 20 '17 at 12:40

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.se. If you have two questions, you should make two questions. That will allow people who only have the answer for one of the two questions to contribute. Can you split off the last line and ask it separately? \$\endgroup\$ – Erik Feb 20 '17 at 12:28
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Saving throws are only rolled for spells that specify that a save is needed. This is said in the first sentence of the paragraph you quoted:

Many spells specify that a target can make a saving throw to avoid some or all of a spells effects.

Spells that don't specify this are not subject to saving throws. Some spells without save always take effect (like Magic Missile which hits automatically) or are rolled as attacks instead (such as Guiding bolt which specifies it is resolved as a ranged attack roll).

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The rules will always be explicit and tell you if you need to roll a save. If it doesn't say you have to, you do not have to.

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