Cooke is just an overambitious prick, and he's going to get us all killed.

Philip Lem is a Powder Ganger living in Vault 19 in 2281.


Philip Lem was sentenced to imprisonment in NCR Correctional Facility, for a series of thefts at NCR camps. He was an integral part of the prison breakout, but believes the Powder Gangers should turn themselves back in since the gang won't be able to sustain themselves much longer.

Interactions with the player characterEdit

Interactions overviewEdit

General Services Quests
Essential: Icon cross
Companion: Icon cross
Plays Caravan: Icon cross
Merchant: Icon cross
Repairman: Icon cross
Doctor: Icon cross
Rents bed/room: Icon cross
Starts quests: Icon check
Involved in quests: Icon cross


Effects of player's actionsEdit

  • If the player character sides with Cooke during the quest Why Can't We Be Friends?, the room to the blue overseer's office, where Lem resides, will be locked after the player character kills the fire geckos in the caves, with no option to lockpick the door. When the player character returns after speaking to Papa Khan about the convicts joining their ranks, they can enter the office, but will only find blood and some body parts on the floor. When spoken to about this, Cooke will confirm that he killed Lem to maintain control of the gang.
  • If the player character blows up the caves like Lem wanted, he is thankful and rewards the player character with caps. At this point, the player character can either allow Lem to turn himself and the other convicts in like he wanted, or convince him to join the Great Khans with a Speech check of 40.



  • Killing Philip Lem will cause all of Vault 19 to become hostile; even if done stealthily.
  • Philip seems to be the only source of tortiseshell glassesIcon sic in the entire game. Though it appears that he does not always possess these glasses and may have ordinary sunglasses instead.
    • As of patch, he wears regular sunglasses except in the PC version.
  • After completing 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 possible to trigger a dialogue with Cooke, after viewing the remains of Lem, in which Cooke admits to the killing.
    • If the aforementioned quest is completed in Cooke's favor, the doors to the overseer's room where Lem resides will be locked until the last stage of the quest.
  • Though Lem claims that some of the other Powder Gangers in the vault also want to surrender to the NCR, none of them have any comments on that matter. In fact, some will even comment how "spineless" Lem has become.

Notable quotesEdit

  • "I'm a nobody. Just a survivor. Things were well enough until the NCR threw me behind bars."
  • "Cooke is just an overambitious prick, and he's going to get us all killed."
  • "Cooke is planning to use the sulfur to make bigger explosives. Will you check out the caves and see if there's anything you can do? Without access to the sulfur, he'll lose what influence he has left with the men here."


Philip Lem appears only in Fallout: New Vegas.

Behind the scenesEdit

50 Vault-Tec C.E.O.The following is based on unverified behind the scenes information and has not been confirmed by canon sources.

Phillip Lem's name is likely a reference to Phil and Lem, two humorously co-dependent and ethically conflicted scientists from the television show "Better Off Ted".

50 Vault-Tec C.E.O.End of information based on unverified behind the scenes information.
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