Insight Check: Brandon Stennis (Rinn Leodin)

Brandon Stennis (@iamBrandonTV) took the time out of his constant work to help us get a better understanding of his first experience with D&D, and some insight into Rinn and how he views him.

Group photo of the Rivals of Waterdeep crew in black and white, with the exception of Brandon.
Order is: Cicero, Brandon, Surena, Tanya, Carlos, Shareef
Photo Credit: Greg Tito/Wizards of the Coast

Brandon Stennis plays Rinn Leodin, High-Elf Sorcerer, one of the wild cards of the Rivals. Brandon is a regular Twitch streamer, while also being an event host for Gamestop, and Ambassador for Xsplit. On top of all that, Brandon is always putting in work to help others break into streaming and the gaming community in general. He is new to TTRPGs/D&D, but has always been interested and has taken to them swimmingly.
We met Rinn as a young, brash Elf, having eyes only for gold. Over the course of the past 2 seasons, we’ve seen him mature into a valued member of the Rivals. He’s grown out of his obsession, and takes time to be considerate of his friends. There are still glimpses of the old Rinn at times, but those times are rare. He has become a better person while with the group, as shown by his actions at the end of Season 2, but he may come to regret that.

How did you come up with the concept for you character? What was the process?

I’ve been always obsessed with Fantasy and RPGs my entire life so it was pretty easy to know I wanted my character to be equipped with magic. When I first created my character Rinn, we had a group setting that we all went over our characters and how the whole character creation process worked as I was new to D&D at the time. 

If you could switch characters with anyone, who would you choose?

I would say Ashbourne, she is what Rinn wants to be, strong, feisty, and always wanting to explore more in Waterdeep.

Would you change up any aspects of your character if given the opportunity?

After playing D&D for the last few months, I do wish Rinn was a more melee focused character. After an episode in Season 2 when Rinn was able to battle like a Paladin, I got a taste for where the real fun is at. 

What has been your favorite moment of the entire series so far? Season 1? Season 2?

Favorite moment from Season 1….It is hard to choose because there have been so many great moments, but I would say when Selise came back for Rinn after he left the group and gotten married. That is when the family like relationship began for Rinn and Selise, as Rinn didn’t have any family prior to meeting the group.
My favorite moment in Season 2 had to be the final moments of Season 2 (spoiler alert) Rinn really grew up in Season 2 and had to face alot of the consequences that followed him from Season 1 into Season 2. When Rinn tried to see the best in Melanie to only be betrayed by her. As Rinn is transported away from the group, he finds himself alone in an unknown place that he has heard about and now has to experience himself and alone.

What is something that you are very much looking forward to in Season 3?

Finding out how the group reacts to Rinn’s disappearance and how he actually handles it himself.

Who has been your favorite NPC of the show? Least favorite?

My favorite NPC has to be Dirty D, mainly because the voice Carlos gave him, its hard to not laugh when he is in conversation as Dirty D. Least favorite NPC, most likely would be Vanessa, mainly because she didn’t know the Octobird song.

Are there any decisions made that you wish you could redo?

I would say not really because many decisions that Rinn’s made have shaped his character to be much stronger than he was in Season 1.

What is your opinion on the, while not directly implied, but obvious representation related aspect of the show? It’s a show of PoC and LGBGTQIA+ people, which is a very important thing these days, which really sends a message to others of marginalized identities that this game can be for them also.

I think it absolutely amazing. When I signed up for the show, I knew I was considered to be in both groups of representation. Us as a group knew what we had up against but we always played the game just as normal, we didn’t point their race or their sexuality, these characters were just people on this journey through Waterdeep. I think it’s important for us to be seen in general because there isn’t a lot of representation of POC or LGBGTQIA+ community playing D&D in the mainstream so our show handles it in a great way I believe. I knew that I was a part of something much bigger then myself when after our first game at the Stream of Many Eyes, and to see people comment so positively about the show, how we did, and people saying they finally saw others like themselves was heartwarming.

What is it like playing with this group?

We are like a big family at this point. We have been through a lot but we have been able to make it a positive experience for everyone. We all generally like each other which I believe it shows in our game.

Carlos mentioned the idea/plan of having everyone DM at some point, if given more seasons, are you dreading or looking forward to that? 

Um……I’ll have to talk to Carlos about that. Ha. 

Where do you expect to see Rinn at the beginning of Season 3, since he’s now stuck in Nightstone with quite a few dead bodies and even a few evil citizens of Waterdeep?

I think this is the first real time we will see Rinn, completely alone. With Shareef now DMing, the story can go in anyway. So basically I am scared. Ha.

What is the first thing Rinn aims to do once he gets back out of the Nightstone bubble?

Most likely to replace his golden ears that were broken in the final episode. It’s a real important piece to his character and he will have to get his sense of self back with them.

Does Rinn miss his husband?

People have asked this question alot. Mainly because Rinn kind of left and got married. But I don’t believe he misses his husband at this point. His marriage was a representation of him being a wild, rebellious person, so leaving his husband behind helped him move forward.

How does Rinn feel towards Melanie, after what she did? Will he be looking for revenge?

Now that I will have to leave for everyone to find out in Season 3!

You can find all of Brandon’s social media here.

If you are looking to support the work, here’s how you currently can.

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