When making a Contested Attribute roll, and you roll a 1, ask your Game Master if you have rolled a Critical Failure, sometimes also known as a Fumble, or Critical Fumble. If the Game Master has rolled high # on the die for the NPC then the situation looks to have taken a black turn.
The drugs being consumed are bad, a conference of county sheriffs springs up at your hotel, the worst storm to ever hit Pittsburg, the draft board is looking for you, broke down in front of the alien invasion path, etc. It really is just a plot complication, and lethality should be varied by the GM to keep the PC's on their toes.
Critical Failures in Combat, on the other hand, afford the PC momentary grace in what would have been otherwise curtains. Instead of that gunshot wound leaving the PC for dead now he comes to after the clansmen drive off. The PC has cheated death one more time.