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Philip Lem
Philip Lem.jpg
Biography and appearance
RaceHuman, Caucasian
AffiliationPowder Gangers (semi-formerly)
RolePowder Ganger
LocationVault 19
Dialogue FilePhilip Lem's dialogue
QuestsWhy Can't We Be Friends?
SPECIALStrength: 5
Perception: 6
Endurance: 5
Charisma: 3
Intelligence: 3
Agility: 5
Luck: 4
Derived StatsHit Points: 30 → 175 → 275 (DLCs only)
DT: 6
Tag SkillsExplosives: 34 → 100
Guns: 29 → 100
Melee Weapons: 29 → 100
Level1 → 30 → 50 (DLCs only)
Editor IDVVault19PhilipLem
Base ID0013e4d7Ref ID0013ec01

I suppose without rule of law, we're no better than raiders.

Philip Lem is a Powder Ganger living in Vault 19 in Fallout: New Vegas.


Philip Lem made his living by sneaking into NCR camps and stealing goods and made a well enough living. One day, however, he got sloppy and got caught, avoided hanging, and sent to New California Republic Correctional Facility.[1] Once there, Lem was one of the first inmates involved with Samuel Cooke's prison break plan and took part by spreading the word to other useful inmates and eventually participated in the NCRCF prison break, like the other inmates.[2]

Lem decided to follow Cooke's lead on the way out of NCRCF and to Vault 19 but after all was said and done, Lem began to think that the group should turn themselves in back to the NCR believing that the group can't sustain themselves on the limited resources they got[3] and Cooke's overambitious agenda against the NCR will eventually just get them all killed.[4] Currently, Lem is at odds with Cooke on who wants everyone to stay while Lem and his group want to leave and surrender to the NCR, leaving the group confused on who's actually leading.[5]

Interactions with the player character

Interactions overview

This character starts quests.


Effects of the player's actions

  • After the player completes the quest Why Can't We Be Friends? (choosing Cooke's side and killing the fire Geckos), Lem will appear reduced to a pile of flesh. And some escaped convicts will say, "Too bad for Lem... Guts were flyin' everywhere..." It is unknown who killed him, but is suggested that Cooke killed him.


Icon armored vault suit.png
Leather armor
Head wrap
Tortiseshell glassesQuoted verbatim, error appeared in the original sourceIcon sic.png
Assault carbine icon.png
Combat knife
Frag grenade
Icon briefcase.png
Carried items
Blue sector key card
Icon male severed head.png
Drops on death


  • Killing Philip Lem will cause all of Vault 19 to become hostile, even if done so stealthily.
  • Philip seems to be the only source of tortiseshell glassesQuoted verbatim, error appeared in the original sourceIcon sic.png in the entire game. Though it appears that he does not always possess these glasses and may have ordinary sunglasses instead.
  • Reverse-pickpocketing a metal helmet or other head gear that unequips glasses, leaving the vault (or going to the living quarters) and returning back to pickpocket Philip makes tortiseshell glassesQuoted verbatim, error appeared in the original sourceIcon sic.png appear in his inventory.


Philip Lem appears only in Fallout: New Vegas.

Behind the scenes

Phillip Lem's name is derived from the science-fiction writers Phillip K. Dick and Stanisław Lem. Sydney Wolfram, who designed Vault 19, was reading from both authors at the time.[6]


  1. The Courier: "What did you do?"
    Philip Lem: "I made my living sneaking into NCR camps looking for shit to steal. I got sloppy, and then I got caught."
    (Philip Lem's dialogue)
  2. The Courier: "Tell me about the prison break."
    Philip Lem: "I can be pretty sneaky when I need to be, and the prison guards were a joke. So when Cooke told me his plan, I spread the info to anyone that might be useful."
    (Philip Lem's dialogue)
  3. The Courier: "Why do you want to surrender?"
    Philip Lem: "We can't survive like this - there are too many of us and we don't have the resources. And maybe it's the right thing to do."
    (Philip Lem's dialogue)
  4. The Courier: "Tell me about Cooke."
    Philip Lem: "Cooke is just an overambitious prick, and he's going to get us all killed."
    (Philip Lem's dialogue)
  5. The Courier: "What's going on here?"
    Philip Lem: "Fucking Cooke has us trapped here. After we escaped from an NCR prison, he dragged us around the wasteland until we ended up in this shit hole. A group of us want to leave, go back to the NCR and surrender. But Cooke won't let us."
    (Philip Lem's dialogue)
  6. Email from Sydney Wolfram to User:Kastera1000:
    "Vault 19:
    -The character Phillip Lem got his name from Phillip K. Dick & Stanislaw Lem."

Template:Navbox Vault 19