The lirpa was a traditional Vulcan melee weapon, consisting of a metal staff with a fan-shaped blade on one end and a club on the other. The haft below the shaped blade had some Vulcan lettering on it.
Lirpas didn't feature in the original story outline of "Amok Time". Instead, the traditional mating challenge included different weapons in a total of three "rounds". The first was to be a weapon newly created for the episode, described in the outline as "a weapon like a mace or a 'knob-kerry' – a heavy ball, with sharp spikes, with a short chain and handle." Knives were used in the second round, and the third round was fought barehanded.