actually, looked in my log and saw a bunch of issues around rtorrent listening to new IP after VPN reconnects, seems like it can't access rtxmlrpc.
[info] rTorrent listening interface IP 10.16.112.9 and VPN provider IP 10.26.112.111 different, marking for reconfigure
2021-01-04 14:33:45,124 DEBG 'watchdog-script' stdout output:
[info] rTorrent incoming port 45817 and VPN incoming port 50542 different, marking for reconfigure
2021-01-04 14:33:45,125 DEBG 'watchdog-script' stderr output:
/home/nobody/rtorrent.sh: line 13: rtxmlrpc: command not found
2021-01-04 14:33:45,125 DE