In the Gauntlet series, barrels are commonly scattered around the Realms. They hold precious items that will aid the heroes throughout their journey, like food or treasure. Sometimes Death can be found in them or they can sometimes contain nothing.
Barrel: A basic barrel. Some barrels may contain Death!
Explosive Barrel: These are red barrels that will explode if impacted, dealing fire damage to anything in a small radius.
Poison Barrel: When shot, this will emit a poison gas cloud which will take away health of any hero or monster who stands in it.
Possessing X-Ray Glasses is essential for finding out which barrels may contain Death, and which ones are even worth breaking open. Barrels have, in general, received a few updates.
Barrel: Using a Bomb Potion in the range of a barrel will break it open. If Death is found in them, using the potion will turn Death into an Apple. There are a wide variety of items found inside the barrels, but quite a few barrels can contain nothing.
Explosive Barrel: Shoot red barrels from a distance, as they can harm you. These barrels can destroy nearby items (with the exception of Keys and Scrolls); even items secluded in treasure boxes. If an explosion reaches a treasure box with a bomb in it, the bomb will go off along with the ticking sound following after. The burst will also set off nearby Bomb Potions. If treasure is caught in the boom, it will then turn to Junk.
Poison Barrel: Now, if the gas cloud is next to food of any type, it will immediately spoil.
In the Desert Lands, barrels appear like a canopic jar, being golden in color instead of wooden. This is the same thing with Poison Barrels. Explosive Barrels are wider versions of these canopic jars.
In the Dream World, Red Barrels appear as a box firecrackers, and will shoot off harmless fireworks when exploded.